- #1

AndreasC

Gold Member

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As an explanation to the Cherenkov angle, images such as this are offered:

This is used to explain the Cherenkov angle θ at which the Cherenkov radiation appears to be propagating. To figure this angle out however one has to assume that the wavefronts are tangent to each of these circles, so that then the direction of propagation and the observed wavefronts have a right angle between them. I don't really get why. I think I'm missing something very obvious, and it probably has to do with interference, but I can't quite explain it.

To be more specific, take a point where that first circle meets the wavefront. If you wait just a little bit, won't the emitted radiation from the second circle reach that point? Won't it then appear to be coming from a different angle?

This is used to explain the Cherenkov angle θ at which the Cherenkov radiation appears to be propagating. To figure this angle out however one has to assume that the wavefronts are tangent to each of these circles, so that then the direction of propagation and the observed wavefronts have a right angle between them. I don't really get why. I think I'm missing something very obvious, and it probably has to do with interference, but I can't quite explain it.

To be more specific, take a point where that first circle meets the wavefront. If you wait just a little bit, won't the emitted radiation from the second circle reach that point? Won't it then appear to be coming from a different angle?

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