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Radiation from a continually-accelerating electron

  1. Sep 5, 2012 #1

    I was wondering about this. According to the quantum theory, all EM radiation is made up of discrete units -- photons. So what happens in something like with an electron or other charged particle being accelerated continuously, as opposed to discretely flipping between energy levels like in an atom?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2012 #2

    Jano L.

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    the jumps between the stationary states in atom you mention are not a consequence of Schroedinger's equation; they are just an interpretation of the ( expansion coefficients of the wave function into eigenbasis of H0 ).

    What happens mathematically to the wave function is that it changes continuously according to differential equation, with its center most probably accelerating due to external field. The only thing we can do is to look at the function and try to interpret it somehow, usually as probability density in configuration or momentum space.

    What happens to one particular electron is not determined by quantum theory; it can jump, it can move erraticaly (Brownian motion), it can move continuously ( Bohm's theory)...
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