Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseevich (1904–1990), Russian physicist. Cherenkov first discovered Cerenkov radiation in 1934. Later research by Igor Y. Tamm and Ilya M. Frank led to a definite explanation of the phenomenon. Discovery of Cerenkov radiation led to studies in cosmic rays and high-energy subatomic particles. Cherenkov, Frank, and Tamm were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1958.