A New Approach to the Theory
of Cherenkov Radiation Based on Relativistic Generalization
of the Landau Criterion

S. G. Chefranov

Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 109017 Russia

Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Pushchino, Moscow oblast, 142290 Russia

e-mail: schefranov@mail.ru

Received November 14, 2002; in final form, February 20, 2004

Abstract—Relativistic generalization of the Landau criterion is obtained which, in contrast to the classical
Tamm–Frank and Ginzburg theories, determines the primary energy mechanism of emission of non-
bremsstrahlung Cherenkov radiation. It is shown that Cherenkov radiation may correspond to a threshold ener-
getically favorable conversion of the condensate (ultimately long-wavelength) elementary Bose perturbations
of a medium into transverse Cherenkov photons emitted by the medium proper during its interaction with a suf-
ficiently fast charged particle. The threshold conditions of emission are determined for a medium with an arbi-
trary refractive index n, including the case of isotropic plasma with n < 1 for which the classical theory of Cher-
enkov radiation prohibits such direct and effective nonbremsstrahlung emission of these particular transverse
high-frequency electromagnetic waves. It is established that these conditions of emission agree with the data of
well-known experiments on the threshold for observation of Cherenkov radiation, whereas the classical theory
only corresponds to the conditions of observation of the interference maximum of this radiation. The possibility
of direct effective emission of nonbremsstrahlung Cherenkov radiation, not taken into account in the classical
theory, is considered for many observed astrophysical phenomena (type III solar radio bursts, particle acceler-
ation by radiation, etc.). © 2004 MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”.

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