Origin of thermal radiation

  1. 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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. mathman

    mathman 6,514
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Neutrons don't radiated. They transfer energy by collision.
     
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