Foundations of Physics

, Volume 8, Issue 11, pp 879-891

When can a classical electron accelerate without radiating?

  • Philip PearleAffiliated withHamilton College

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A classical point electron radiates when it accelerates. However, there are classical electron models with extended charge distributions which can accelerate and/or deform without radiating. Can a model be contrived that will undergo radiationless motion while accelerating (on the average) over a distance large compared to its size? The answer is no: we prove that the “center” of the electron is always closer than the electron “diameter” to a fictitious point undergoing constant-velocity motion, if the electron's motion is radiationless.