On The Differential Cross Section of High Energy Gamma Rays with Compton Scattering
The scientific contributions of Arthur H. Compton will be further utilized by challenging a modified version of his famous 1923 scattering experiment. A sample of Caesium 137 encased in a lead housing is utilized for its particularly high probability of producing gamma rays with an energy of 662keV. The necessity for high energy photons is paramount to both Compton’s original experiment and ours. Firing the gamma rays at cylinders from a variety of materials, we detect the scattered photons using a photomultiplier set at different angles about the cylinders. Compton had noticed that high energy photons acting on the free electrons produce results not unlike a classical inelastic collision. He had determined that the conservations of energy and momentum are valid for every collision, not just on a statistical average.
Detecting the energy spectrums across an arc gives us insight into scattering probabilities. To do this, we determine energy as a function of angle using both Einstein’s and Compton’s work. From these calculations and our data, we have the ability to observe the differential cross section. This may be described as the rate at which electrons are detected at any specific angle. The classical Thompson and the, later corrected, Klein-Nishina formulas describe this specific differential cross section for comparison with our own results. Through this experiment, Compton’s ideas are used to describe the unusual behavior of Quantum Mechanics.