Bothe, Walther Wilhelm Georg

Bothe, Walther Wilhelm Georg,

1891–1957, German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1923. Bothe was a researcher at the Reich Physical and Technical Institute (1913–30) and a professor at Heidelberg (1930–57). He shared the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics with Max BornBorn, Max,
1882–1970, British physicist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Göttingen, 1907. He was head of the physics department at the Univ. of Göttingen from 1921 to 1933.
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 for devising the coincidence method, which he used to study the Compton effectCompton effect
[for A. H. Compton], increase in the wavelengths of X rays and gamma rays when they collide with and are scattered from loosely bound electrons in matter.
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 and the wave-particle duality of lightlight,
visible electromagnetic radiation. Of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the human eye is sensitive to only a tiny part, the part that is called light. The wavelengths of visible light range from about 350 or 400 nm to about 750 or 800 nm.
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. Bothe also applied the method to the study of cosmic rayscosmic rays,
charged particles moving at nearly the speed of light reaching the earth from outer space. Primary cosmic rays consist mostly of protons (nuclei of hydrogen atoms), some alpha particles (helium nuclei), and lesser amounts of nuclei of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and
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 and was able to show that they consisted of massive particles rather than photons. During World War II he worked on the German nuclear weapons project.