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Nuclear reactor there is radiation called like sarencobe radiation

  1. Apr 3, 2009 #1
    My physics teacher today said in a nuclear reactor there is radiation called like sarencobe
    radiation I didn't hear him very well so I don’t know how to spell it ,
    he said it is this erie glow in the water when the neutrons out run the light
    in the water , can anyone tell me how to spell it or what it is I searched the internet for it but could not find anything.
     
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  3. Apr 3, 2009 #2

    Pengwuino

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  4. Apr 3, 2009 #3
    Re: radiation

    wow i really misspelled what i thought he said thanks .
     
  5. Apr 3, 2009 #4
    Re: radiation

    so what causes the light to be emitted in cherenkov radiation the electrons
    move through the water faster then light but how is the light emitted.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2009 #5

    turin

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    Re: radiation

    It is sort of like the EM equivalent of a sonic boom. The field builds up and produces a broad spectrum conical front.
     
  7. Apr 4, 2009 #6
    Re: radiation

    ok so what elements are making up that light.
     
  8. Apr 4, 2009 #7

    Danger

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    Re: radiation

    It's not a matter of what elements are involved. Photons always travel at c; it's the interaction with atoms that determines the propagation speed of the light signal. In some cases, such as uranium storage pools, sub-atomic particles can travel with less interference from atoms. That occasionally allows them to get to the finish line ahead of the photons.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2009 #8
    Re: radiation

    I guess what I am asking is like when a neon lamp makes light you get this orange glow and you can tell that neon atoms made up that light .
    so do the electrons coming out of the reactor into the water and interfering with the water molecules cause the light to be emitted .
     
  10. Apr 4, 2009 #9

    Danger

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    Re: radiation

    In a storage pool, the usual culprit is a fast neutron. Electrons don't really contribute.
    The spectra of various elements are not connected to this phenomenon.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2009 #10
    Re: radiation

    ok i see thanks for answering
     
  12. Apr 4, 2009 #11

    Danger

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    Re: radiation

    You're more than welcome. I can't help thinking, though, that this might get better responses if it were moved to the 'Atomic, Solid State and Comp. Physics' sub-forum. That seems more in line with what you're investigating.
     
  13. Apr 4, 2009 #12
    Re: radiation

    Cerenkov radiation (sometimes spelled Cherenkov) is produced by beta-decay electrons travelling faster than light (photons) in water. The speed of light in vacuum is about 3 x 10^8 meters per sec, but only about 2.25 x 10^8 meters per sec in water (index of refraction n=1.33 in water). The beta decay electrons travel faster than 2.25 x 10^8 meters per sec (hence faster than photons in water), but slower than 3 x 10^8 meters per sec in water, so they radiate visible blue light. This glow continues as long as the fuel rods in reactors are radioactive, and has no direct connection to neutrons.
     
  14. Apr 4, 2009 #13

    Danger

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    Re: radiation

    I stand corrected. Thanks, Bob. I was relying on something that I half-remembered from my visit to the Douglas Point reactor back in the late 60's; I haven't really paid much attention since then. :redface:
     
  15. Apr 4, 2009 #14
    Re: radiation

    so it has nothing to do with nuetrons , my physics professor said it was because the nuetron's were out running the photons.
     
  16. Apr 5, 2009 #15
    Re: radiation

    Only charged particles produce Cerenkov radiation. I recall looking down into a (water) pool-type reactor while it was running, and seeing the eery blue glow. I have also seen it when a charged particle beam was going through glass.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2009 #16

    QuantumPion

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    Re: radiation

    I think the term "erie" is a good way to describe Cerenkov light, especially if you have seen spent fuel rods or pool-type reactors in person. It is erie, because you can't really tell what the source of the light is, it almost appears as if it is glowing through the opaque metal rods although it is actually coming from the water itself. But the light also shrouds the fuel in a sort of fog, making it appear ghostly.
     
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