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Electromagnetic radiation

  1. Apr 10, 2012 #1
    I recently read an article online stating that electromagnetic radiation is 'a form of energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles'.

    This isn't always correct, is it? I mean, I know that charged particles that are accelerating can emit bremsstrahlung and synchrotron radiation, but my own body will emit thermal infra-red, and I'm not made up of charged particles. Also, as I understand it, an atom can emit or absorb e-m radiation simply by electron transitions between energy levels; the atom is still neutral (although it could be in an excited state.)

    Am I correct, or hopelessly confused?


  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2012 #2


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    Hi Paul! :smile:
    but that is emission by charged particles, isn't it? :confused:
  4. Apr 10, 2012 #3
    :rofl: Yes, you're right of course...brain-freeze moment on my part! No further replies necessary!
  5. Apr 11, 2012 #4
    Basically charges affects other charge solely via EMF (photons).

  6. Apr 11, 2012 #5
    Electromagnetic radiation also comes from annihilation of particles, irregardless of charge. I suppose an uncharged black hole also emits EM radiation.
  7. Apr 11, 2012 #6
    In the annihilation of particles charge is conserved and as far as I know Electromagnetic radiation is still created by Charge (electrons and/or quarks). In a black EM radiation is, as far as I know, created by Charges and escapes the event horizon due to virtual charged particle annihilation...


  8. Apr 12, 2012 #7


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    In the case of thermal radiation from your own body, it would mostly be a result of internal vibrations in polar molecules, such as H2O.
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