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Russian physicist Pavel Cerenkov

Russian physicist Pavel Cerenkov

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SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pavel Cerenkov, Russian physicist, born Voronezh Guberniya on August 10, 1904. Cerenkov graduated in 1928 and in 1930 began working at the Institute of Physics of the Soviet Academy of Science. His important discovery in 1934 involved the velocity of high-energy subatomic particles, which is never greater than the velocity of light in a vacuum. Light travelling through water, however, moves more slowly: 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 - termed Cerenkov radiation. For this work, Cerenkov, Frank & Tamm shared the 1958 Nobel Prize in physics.

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