Cherenkov radiation

What is Cherenkov radiation?

Cherenkov radiation was discovered and characterized by Pavel Cherenkov in 1934 (for which he received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1958 along with Ilya Frank and Igor Tamm) and is observed as a faint blue glow such as may be seen in the water surrounding nuclear reactors. It is the equivalent of the sonic boom for light, and it occurs when a charged particle moves through a medium at a speed greater than the speed of light in that medium (which is less than the speed of light in a vacuum), leading to emission of visible light photons. Optical imaging techniques based on detection of Cherenkov radiation along with Cherenkov specific contrast agents are currently being utilized in preclinical research studies.


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