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(1) X-Rays and Electrons: an Outline of Recent X-Ray Theory (2) Introduction to Contemporary Physics

Naturevolume 120pages143145 (1927) | Download Citation



(1) THE rivalry of classical wave theory and J- modernist quantum theory has of late years dominated the physics of radiation, and in spite of all our efforts we can scarcely say that a really satisfactory solution is yet in sight. Nowhere is the conflict more acute than in the field of X-rays, and the investigations of the past few years have all gone to emphasise the differences rather than to reconcile the warring interests. On one hand we have the establishment of what might be called the optical properties of X-rays, such as reflection at a glass surface and refraction through a prism, phenomena hitherto always explained in terms of the wave theory: on the other hand, quantum effects of an extreme type have been revealed by the study of the extraordinary effect known by the name of Compton, who first established that for very short X-rays, where the quantum of energy is large, the radiation can be shown to behave in many respects like a minute projectile, the results of whose impacts with an electron can be calculated on the lines of the impacts of massive spheres. Prof. Compton has also been closely interested in many problems which have been worked out in terms of the wave theory, such as the questions of the intensity of X-ray reflection and of X-ray absorption. His recent book on X-rays and electrons has therefore strong claims on our attention.

(1) X-Rays and Electrons: an Outline of Recent X-Ray Theory.

By Prof. Arthur H. Compton. Pp. xv + 403. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1927.) 25s. net.

(2) Introduction to Contemporary Physics.

By Dr. Karl K. Darrow. Pp. xxvi + 456. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1927.) 25s. net.

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