Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseevich
(P. A. Čerenkov). Born July 15 (28), 1904, in the village of Novaia Chigla, in what is now Voronezh Oblast. Soviet physicist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1970; corresponding member, 1964). Member of the CPSU since 1946.
Cherenkov graduated from the University of Voronezh in 1928. In 1930 he joined the staff of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He is a professor at the Moscow Physical Engineering Institute.
In 1934, while investigating the luminescence of liquids, Cherenkov discovered a new optical effect that consists in the emission of distinctive optical radiation when a material is bombarded by charged particles traveling at a speed greater than the speed of light in the material (seeCHERENKOV RADIATION). In 1958, Cherenkov shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of the effect with I. E. Tamm and I. M. Frank, who developed the theory of the effect. Methods using Cherenkov radiation to detect charged particles have been developed (seeCHERENKOV COUNTER).
Cherenkov has also carried out research in nuclear physics, high-energy particle physics, the study of cosmic rays, and the development of electron accelerators. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946, 1952, and 1977 and has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.