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Cherenkov Radiation: What If Something Travels Faster Than The Speed Of Light? |

Cherenkov Radiation: What If Something Travels Faster Than The Speed Of Light?



Can anything travel faster than the speed of light? Is it even possible for something to undertake the “speed of light” travel? And what if something can actually travel faster than light? What is Cherenkov radiation and how is it related to the speed of light?

These are some of the most popular questions related to the speed of light and the plausibility of a light-speed travel. Well, as of now, it’s not possible for humans to travel at the speed of light.

You may have heard people saying that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. Well, that statement is not entirely correct, unless the medium of light’s travel is specified too. It’s true that light travels the fastest, but that’s true only when it travels through a vacuum. Because in other mediums, like water, there are things that can travel faster than the speed of light. This is what Cherenkov radiation is all about.

Cherenkov radiation is observed when something travels faster than the speed of light in a given medium. It’s a bluish glow that you can see in the water of nuclear reactors. Just like you hear a sonic boom when something travels faster than the speed of sound, Cherenkov radiation is observed when something travels faster than the speed of light.

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