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Origin of thermal radiation

by jjschwartz1
Tags: origin, radiation, thermal
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Feb2-13, 05:17 PM
P: 2
I'm trying to understand the origin of thermal radiation. All things with a temperature emit electromagnetic radiation.

Every discussion I've found starts with that as a premise and then goes on to Wien's displacement law and Planck's law, etc which I follow.

But *why* do all things radiate? I've seen some hints that atoms in motion are constantly colliding and therefore accelerating and therefore the component charges are accelerating and emitting electromagnetic radiation. But I haven't seen it worked out in detail or mathematically.

And if that's the case, do a bunch of neutrons at room temperature radiate? They must. What's the explanation for that?
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Feb2-13, 05:22 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 6,056
Neutrons don't radiated. They transfer energy by collision.

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