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Why do accelerated charges emit e/m radiation?

  1. Jul 2, 2004 #1
    Hi first time post here and the site is awesome.
    Question is in the title really. Im a second year physicist at UMIST, manchester, England and worry about why an accelerated charged particle loses energy via e/m radiation. For example Bohr's model of the atom consisting of electrons physically orbitting the nucleus was proved incorrect as the elctrons would spiral towards the centre.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2004 #2
    the purcell text i used this year had a very good explanation based in relativity, somewhat replicated at this site: www.chem.yale.edu/~cas/jenkins.html

    basically, electromagnetic disturbances propagate at the speed of light. so the information that the charge (and the field from the charge) has acclerated reaches a certain point away from the charge at a later time, indicated by the picture to the right. this creates a sort of wavefront.
     
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