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Suppose an atom is accelerated...Now the protons in its nucleus and the electrons in the orbits are also accelerated...So will they emit the electromagnetic radiations? Basically here the electrons will get excited to the upper energy levels and when they will come back to their original levels they will emit radiations...but my confusion is will the protons also emit the radiations as they are also accelerated ?And when a body is at some non zero temperature its molecules are in random motion and during their oscillations they are accelerated and emit electromagnetic radiations...Do these radiations involve the radiations emitted by the accelerated protons or not?


marked as duplicate by John Rennie, ACuriousMind, Kyle Kanos, Brandon Enright, BMS Sep 29 '14 at 17:13

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  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Acceleration of electric charges and radiation $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 29 '14 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ The link I've suggested may not seem an obvious duplicate, but it is asking why the electrons and protons in an atom don't radiate when the atom is accelerated. I think this is basically what you're asking. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 29 '14 at 10:59

You're question is one of the canonical questions that inevitably led to Quantum-Mechanics.

It is true that in Classical Mechanics the electron is rotating -> radiating, but if that were true the system would be losing energy all the time, until the electron collapses into the proton.

by the same token a proton would be radiating since it also rotates around a joint center of mass.

Since observationally this isn't the case, Quantum Mechanics was called for.

In the QM description, nuclei as well as electrons do not radiate energy whilst in their so-called orbitals. it is only through jumping between orbitals that they emit/swallow energy (radiation)

  • $\begingroup$ I am not so sure that this is the whole story. What about the dipole moment and higher moments. Do they not lead to radiation if acceleration takes place? $\endgroup$ – Urgje Sep 29 '14 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ Dipoles can and do radiate, but again this is quantized. Molecules with a permanent dipole moment will usually emit lines in the microwave(ish) region. $\endgroup$ – user3823992 Sep 29 '14 at 9:54

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