I was reading the answers for this question: Why do moving particles emit thermal radiation? Because I'm trying to understand why does a solid object emit radiation if it's hot.

The two main answers in that question are slightly different in my opinion. One suggests that radiation is generated from electrons being exited and decaying due to lattice vibrations; and the other suggests that those lattice vibrations result in oscillations in the electron density which result in transient dipoles (that emit EM radiation).

So which one is it? Or are both responses explaining the same phenomenon at different scales? Or are those two mechanisms working at the same time?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ My answer is correct of course :-) $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 4 '18 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ All objects that have a temperature above absolute zero, emit radiation of one wavelength or another. Since no object in the universe has a temperature of absolute zero, that means ALL objects emit radiation. $\endgroup$ – David White Sep 4 '18 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidWhite I agree. When I say 'hot' I mean above absolute zero. What it is not clear to me is the mechanism. $\endgroup$ – user190081 Sep 4 '18 at 18:09

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