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The Cerenkov radiation cause?

  1. Jul 10, 2009 #1
    I was sitting in physics class today and the question of speed of light came up. I asked if anything could pass the speed of light, and the professor stated that Cerenkov radiation was particles moving faster than the speed of light in water, and it resulted in a "light boom." My question to him was, "What is the matter or energy that is used to create this light?" "Where does this energy come from?" If we are in a closed system in which nothing new comes in and nothing in the system leaves then from what source does this light come?

    Thank you for reading and I hope that my amateur understanding of physics is not annoying or hazardous to your minds ha ha

    Have a great day...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2009 #2


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    here is a great explanation:
    http://www.sadjadi.org/Cerenkov/theory.htm [Broken]

    Since it is an electromagnetic interaction, the particle transfers energy to the materials atoms and looses kinetic energy.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jul 10, 2009 #3
    Thank you so much for the aid. I was just stumped by the question and so was my prof. the confusion I feel came in when we were thinking of light waves like sound waves. It all is coming clearer now.
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