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A Sonic Boom of Light


ThePeculiarParticle

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Advanced_Test_Reactor.jpg

 

That standard blue glow associated with radiation has much more behind it than meets the eye. This phenomenon is called Cherenkov radiation. The blue glow is a result of particles moving faster than the speed of light.

“WAIT THEY CAN’T DO THAT! STOP LYING! OH THE HUMANITY!” I hear off in the distance. Yes, in certain circumstances it is possible. We learned last year about the refractive index which is a ratio of velocity of light in a vacuum ( c ) which is 3x10^8m/s over how fast it can travel in a medium.

 

The equation is shown below:

cerenkov-radiation-html-m3f088cff.gif


The larger the n value, the slower light moves in a certain medium. In water, which is common in most reactors, light travels at 75% of the speed it would in a vacuum. As a result of this, certain particles such as electrons which are shot off as a result of nuclear fission can move faster than light in the particular medium.

The result is like a jet as it flies and creates a sonic boom from over lapping sound waves. The photons emitted by the water collect behind the moving electron and give off a blue light.

 

The animation bellow shows what it looks like in action.

Cherenkov_radiation-animation.gif

So, this is not new information to change science as we know it, just a natural behavior which gives off an unnatural glow.

 

As always thanks for reading. - ThePeculiarParticle

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