I found somewhere that Cerenkov Radiation is emmited by Beta particles and the radiation appears as a continuous spectrum, the number of photons emmited at a particular frequency or wavelength is proportional to 1/ wavelength squared. this all means that the smaller the wavelength (or similarly, the higher the frequency) the more photons you get. This explains the eery blue glow you get from nuclear reactors being stored under heavy water, there are more blue photons being emmited than green but more green than red, similarly there are more ultraviolet than blue and more xray than ultraviolet, etc.
My question is that if more photons are emmited when the wavelength is smaller, why are there not millions more cosmic rays than there are gamma rays? why is there not an infinite number of photons being released with an infinatly small wavelength? basically, at what wavelength does this effect stop working and why?
Any help on the subject would be appreciated
Cerenkov Radiation Question Watch
- Thread Starter
- 12-12-2010 15:40
- 12-12-2010 22:47
You'll find the answer in this section of the Wiki article.
The equation is discussed here.
In a nutshell, the reason you are looking for is that the energy radiated in this case also depends on the refractive index of the material the charged particles are travelling through. The refractive index itself gets less at higher frequencies and becomes less than 1 at frequencies beyond that of typical X-Rays.