|In a Compton scattering interaction an incoming
gamma-ray photon interacts with a nearly
free atomic electron. The gamma-ray transfers only a fraction of its energy to
the electron and is deflected through an angle q from its original
The scattered gamma continues with the remaining energy Eg'.
The electron, now termed a recoil
ejected from the atom with the energy:
- where m0c2 = rest mass of an electron
demonstrates Compton scattering. To explore the relationship between the percentage of
energy transferred to the recoil electron and scattering angle of the
gamma-ray go to the graph plotting
The energy transferred to the recoil electron can be detected and
observed as the Compton continuum
in an energy spectrum. In normal circumstances all scattering angles occur and a continuum of energies can be
transferred to the recoil electron (ranging from 0 to 180°).