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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
New Light on Blue Light
8 July 1999 7:00 pm
Today is the birthday of Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm, a physicist born in Vladivostok, Russia, in 1895 who helped explain the weak, bluish light observed in water shielding some nuclear reactors.
In 1934, Soviet physicist Pavel Cherenkov discovered that light is emitted when charged particles pass through a liquid medium. But the glow of "Cherenkov radiation" was not understood until Tamm and Ilya Frank explained it in 1937. The two proposed that the glow is caused by electrons traveling faster than the speed of light in water. These energetic electrons displace electrons in some of the water atoms along their path; the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the displaced atomic electrons combines to form a light wave, similar to a bow wave generated by a speedboat traveling faster than water waves.
Tamm, Frank, and Cherenkov shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1958. Tamm died in 1971.
[Source: Britannica Online]