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Old Feb 8th 2010, 05:21 PM   #11
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Smile Hello

A second year student, I would have guessed a graduate student. I will say from what I've read from your replies you seem like a bright minded individual.

I'm no physicist, my Ph.D. is in electrical engineering. What I know in physics comes from about 5 courses I took in the physics dept. over my undergraduate and graduate years.

I hope I didn't make my replies read like lectures, I do that for a living so I may write them in that manner out of habit.

I thought this an interesting topic, so I decided to throw my thoughts in to see what kind of a response I'd get. I did try to be clear that the remarks I made were my opinion, so I wasn't trying to lecture.

I do agree with your point about electrons and positrons. I don't see how they can separately be a photon. I'll have to do a little research into photon emission, or ask someone in the physics dept.

Many Smiles,
Craig
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Old Feb 13th 2010, 10:30 AM   #12
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The short answer is "no".

Charged particles emit EM radiation whenever they're accelerated. Or possibly only if they're accelerated by and EM field. Radio waves are caused by the acceleration of current-carrying electrons in an antenna.

I think if thermal radiation (light bulb) were only caused by electron energy levels, then the spectrum from a light bulb would be discrete lines, since the energy levels are discrete. Actually it's quite smooth.

I think thermal radiation is caused by molecular energy levels, rather than electronic ones.

Regarding light from nuclear reactions. Definitely not the atom's electrons. Electron energy levels aren't high enough to produce the X-rays and gamma rays that come from nuclear decay.
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