How many photons are emitted by accelerating electron?

1. Jan 20, 2012

trifractal

And what determines the wavelengths of the emitted photons? In jumping from one orbital to a lower one, how many photons does an electron generally emit? Is it just one, with a wavelength determined by the distance jumped between orbitals, or many?

In the case of an electron being accelerated in free space, does it emit a constant stream of increasing frequency photons, and how far must the electron travel in order to emit a photon?

Thank you.

2. Jan 20, 2012

Staff: Mentor

In transitioning from one orbital to another I *think* it just emits one photon of equal energy to the difference of the two energy levels. However, this does not prohibit an electron from dropping from one energy level to another, and then to one even lower provided it has free levels to drop to.

As for acceleration, that depends on the velocity of the electrons and the rate of acceleration. Many forms of X-Rays are produced by shooting electrons at a target and decelerating them. As for the number of photons emitted, I don't know.

3. Jan 20, 2012

trifractal

Does anyone know the pertinent equations to figuring out the relationship between speed, time, and frequency of emitted photons to shed more light (pun unintended) on this?

4. Jan 21, 2012

Staff: Mentor

5. Jan 21, 2012

trifractal

Very interesting, thank you.

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