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In spectrophotometry, the Compton edge is a feature of the spectrograph that results from the Compton scattering in the scintillator or detector. When a gamma-ray scatters off the scintillator but escapes, only a fraction of its energy is registered by the detector. This leads to a spectrum of gamma-rays in the data that is not really there. The highest energy that occurs from this process is the Compton edge.
In a Compton scattering process, an incident photon collides with an electron in the scintillator. The amount of energy exchanged varies with angle, and is given by the formula:
The amount of energy transferred to the scintillator varies with the angle of deflection. As θ approaches zero, none of the energy is transferred. The maximum amount of energy is transferred when θ approaches 180 degrees.
It is impossible for the photon to transfer any more energy via this process, hence there is a sharp cutoff at this energy giving rise to the name Compton edge.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Compton_edge". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|