1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Batteries and Radiation

  1. Nov 19, 2011 #1
    Why don't batteries give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation and lose their charge quickly? I was thinking about kinetic theory and electromagnetic theory, and it seems that the ions in the battery ought to be accelerating quite a bit since they are in constant motion and bumping into walls and other particles (changing speed and direction). Why don't these ions give off their charge when they accelerate? Shouldn't this cause the battery to lose its charge rather quickly? :shy:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    As long as the + and - are insulated from each other, there is no way or the charge to change. Motion itself doesn't have the effect your describing.
  4. Nov 19, 2011 #3
    Without entering into the subject of charge movement in a battery:

    Electromagnetic radiation has no electric charge, and therefore doesn't transport electric charge away from a radiating charge.
  5. Nov 19, 2011 #4
    Thanks for clearing that up, mathman and torquil. What about the first part of the question? Why don't they give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation (accelerating ions give off electromagnetic radiation, right?)?
  6. Nov 19, 2011 #5
    Have you thought about exactly what an ion is??

    Ion movement is actually rather slow.

    Does an atom of any material "....give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation and lose ....(any) charge quickly?

    How about an ion anywhere???

    Why don't they keys on your computer keyboard emit radiation when you tap them??

    And how about current in a battery circuit: why doesn't it "..give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation and lose ....charge quickly?..." Remember the power loss here is a simple I2R.
  7. Nov 19, 2011 #6
    I thought a current does give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation?

    Also, what do you mean by ions moving slow? Aren't they just as fast as any other atom, just charged?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  8. Nov 19, 2011 #7
    From what has already been said, let me clarify and change the question:

    Why don't batteries give off a significant amount of electromagnetic radiation (from the acceleration of ions--implication of electromagnetic theory and kinetic theory) and then change state due to the loss of energy (when I say change state the subject is the ionic liquid/gel)?
  9. Nov 19, 2011 #8
    I suppose an ion, when changing dirrection, would give off a bit of EM radiation. The source of the energy would be the KE of the ion. It would likely get absorbed by another atom in the battery and so be just a means of heat movement. If it escaped the battery and caused the average temperature of the battery to drop by a tiny fraction of a degree the battery would simply absorb a tiny amount of heat from its enviroment and stay the same temperature as the environment.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Batteries and Radiation
  1. Battery in space? (Replies: 8)

  2. Battery replacement (Replies: 36)

  3. Lithium batteries (Replies: 1)

  4. Voltage in a battery (Replies: 5)