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Cherenkov Radiation Detected in 2D Regime

Credit: Argonne National Laboratory 

By Amal Pushp, Affiliate Physicist at the Resonance Science Foundation 

What happens when a high-speed jet displays motion that is essentially higher than the velocity of sound? One would hear a cracking sound commonly known as a sonic boom. Analogous to this phenomenon, there might exist something similar in the case of electromagnetic radiation as light and sound have a lot of commonalities considering their physical effects. In fact, there does exist a similar phenomenon in the case of light.  

When a charged particle like an electron travels faster than the phase velocity of light inside a water-bound nuclear reactor, there is an intense emission of blue light. This effect is called the Cherenkov effect named after the Soviet physicist Pavel Cherenkov who observed it for the first time in 1934. In a way, this is an optical analogue of the sonic boom effect that essentially relies upon shock waves. A full mathematical...

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