Fr.: catastrophe de Compton
In a compact, steady radio-source where the density of relativistic electrons and the density of synchrotron radiation due to these electrons are very large, the radio photons should be transformed into X-ray and gamma-ray photons through inelastic Compton scatterings onto the relativistic electrons. Thus the radio photons should rapidly disappear and only gamma-ray photons should be observed. This phenomenon does not take place if the radio source is in relativistic expansion.