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Cherenkov Radiation for lighting

  1. Feb 10, 2010 #1
    After writing a physics paper on carbon nanotubes, I've been constantly wondering about a theory I invented and investigated in it, the theory being that because the electrons in carbon nanotubes travel closer to the speed of light when under the effects of any potenital difference than most other materials, would it be possible to place two electrodes made of pure nanotubes in a small amount of heavy water (possibly containing an ionic solute to aid conductivity, and to slow light even more) and pass a current across it. The electrons travelling in the nanotubes would enter the water, where the speed of light is less and then release this light as Cherenkov Radiation, creating a lovely ambient glow.

    Just for reference, these extracts are taken from my paper -

    The bit about why the electrons move so fast

    and the bit about Cherenkov Radiation, follow this link for a nice picture http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/324/29197750.png" [Broken]

    That's all :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2010 #2
    I have looked at Cerenkov light in Lucite from pulsed electron beams through a 4-foot water window, and Cerenkov light in a pool-type reactor through about 25 feet of water. It's not very bright. If you want enough light to read by, you will get a lethal radiation dose in a few seconds. A single relativistic particle in water will create ~ 400 visible photons per cm, so the light is very dim. See Eq (11) in

    or for derivation see Schiff Quantum Mechanics (second edition) 267-271.

    Bob S
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