Pavel Cherenkov, Russian physicist

Pavel Cherenkov, Russian physicist

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Credit: W. F. MEGGERS GALLERY OF NOBEL LAUREATES /EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov (1904-1990), Russian physicist and Nobel laureate. Cherenkov shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with Ilya Mikhailovich Frank and Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm. The share of the Nobel was awarded for Cherenkov's work on the discovery and interpretation of the Cherenkov effect. Cherenkov's discovery, in 1934, involved the velocity of high-energy subatomic particles. Light travelling through water moves more slowly than it does in a vacuum, and a high- energy particle moving through water may exceed the velocity of light in that medium. When it does, it creates a "wake" of light, called Cherenkov radiation.

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