Quantum theory; Radiation; Science--History
Arthur Holly Compton, as a result of his own research and confidence in the validity of classical electrodynamics, was convinced in 1921 that homogeneous x-rays and gamma rays could be affected in only two possible ways when passing through matter: either they gave rise to "truly scattered" radiation of the same wavelength as that of the incident rays, or they excited "fluorescent" radiation of a longer wavelength. When Compton was led to carry out experiments using homogeneous x-rays and actually found secondary radiation of longer wavelength, he regarded his result as a crucial test between the "truly scattered" and the "fluorescent" radiation hypotheses and concluded that the latter was correct. More than a year later, late in 1922, Compton realized that he had found the strongest contemporary evidence for the quantum theory of radiation.
Stuewer, R. H.
Compton's 'Crucial Test' - Theoretical Preconceptions and Experimental Interpretation.
Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science, Vol. 43 No.1, 22-25.
Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.morris.umn.edu/jmas/vol43/iss1/7