The Interior Of Nuclear Reactor Cores Glow What Color?
Pop culture depictions of glowing green radioactive materials like the “ooze” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the green glow of radiation at Homer’s nuclear reactor job in The Simpsons have done a remarkable job of cementing the idea in peoples’ heads that radiation is green, green, and more green.
So you might be very surprised to find out that the interior of a nuclear reactor doesn’t glow green at all, but an incredibly serene blue color that belies the danger found therein. The blue glow found in water-submerged nuclear reactor cores is called “Cherenkov radiation”, named after Soviet researcher Pavel Cherenkov, and is a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium. In layman’s terms, the glow results from electrons freed during the nuclear reaction zipping along at very high speeds through the water.
Why blue instead of another color on the visible spectrum? Cherenkov radiation is very high frequency and the majority of it isn’t even visible to the human eye (but is in the ultraviolet range just outside the edge of the visible spectrum). The blue we see is the very lowest end of the frequency emitted by the reaction and, just over the frequency line, so to speak, from ultraviolet, and we see it as very bright blue.
More Trivia Questions
Foster’s Rule Is A Rule In Evolutionary Biology That Explains?
In Medieval Europe, Which Of The Following Were Used As Timers?
The Oldest Surviving Latin Prose Is A Text About?
The Khasi People Of Northern India Craft What Out Of Living Trees?
As Part Of Its Mosquito Fighting Arsenal, Disney World Uses Which Of These Domestic Animals?
Pneumoencephalography Is A Medical Procedure Where Your Spinal Fluid Is Replaced With?
Microsoft Once Released An Official Windows Training Video Starring Cast Members From?
On The Island Of Lanzarote Chefs Cook Food Over?