My understanding is that a charged particle, when accelerated emits EM radiation. In a situation where a charged particle is briefly accelerated in a straight line it should produce a propagating electromagnetic wave. My question is, what is the characteristic frequency of this wave, and what parameters does it depend on?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you make a simple drawing of acceleration vs time? Is it a square pulse, triangle, gaussian bump...? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 4 '16 at 2:01

Wave produced by brief accelerated motion is not periodic train, but a glimmer. The concept of frequency does not apply to such a wave.

  • $\begingroup$ I understand that it would not be periodic, would it be more like a propagating ramp or step function? Or what is the characteristic length of this glimmer then? $\endgroup$ – PumpkinPie Mar 4 '16 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ phet.colorado.edu/sims/radiating-charge/… Here is a cool simulator I found. As you can see if you accelerate it in a straight line you get this single wave propagating out. I am curious about the parameters that define this waves shape. $\endgroup$ – PumpkinPie Mar 4 '16 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ Transients are expressed as a distribution of frequencies all the time in physics, electrical engineering, acoustics, optics... The peak frequency will be some factor of order unity times 1/t. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 4 '16 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ I clicked "sinusoidal" 20 minutes ago and forgot what I was doing. Nice simulator @PumpkinPie! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 4 '16 at 1:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.