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An electron and gravity

  1. Nov 8, 2014 #1


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    At least in classical theory, when an electron is accelerated it radiates energy. In GR, a free electron that is falling toward earth is not accelerating (it's motion is inertial), so one would expect that if you dropped an electron in a vacuum tower, no radiation would be emitted. Conversely if you suspend the electron (in an electric field) so it is stationary wrt the earth, in GR the electron is accelerating so you would expect it to emit radiation.

    What actually happens and why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Well you know what actually happens - you've seen it.
    "Why" is neither here nor there ... that's just the way it is.

    If you mean "where is my description of the problem flawed?" then take another look at how electromagnetism works in relativity.

    IRL, a relativistic description of electrons uses QFT.
  4. Nov 8, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

  5. Nov 10, 2014 #4


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    Wow, that is an interesting can of worms. There is no date on that paper. Do you suppose that an understanding has been reached since then?

    If not, then there is more to understand about physics. It seems the electron itself is not fully grokked.

    BTW, the issue of relativity of acceleration is broached in that text. Has that been discussed in the forum? I ask because questions by another poster have been raised about whether Einstein's own 1916 interpretation of GR has somehow changed since then in a more modern interpretation.
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