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Old May 6th 2017, 02:41 PM   #1
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Does an electron really "decide" to accelerate by emitting a photon?

I saw this comment on another forum

And the fact that accelerating charged particles lose energy by emitting light.
Does an electron really "decide" to lose energy by emitting a photon or does the fact that it loses energy cause it to deaccelerate and thereby cause a disturbance in its electromagnetic field which rather causes a photon?

Edit: Title should have read "Does an electron really "decide" to deaccelerate by emitting a photon?"

Last edited by kiwiheretic; May 6th 2017 at 02:44 PM.
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Old May 7th 2017, 05:13 AM   #2
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I really have to ask what in the world you mean by an electron "deciding" anything!
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Old May 7th 2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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I am really asking which is the cause and which is the effect and how do we know.
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Old May 8th 2017, 09:34 AM   #4
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I guess that because the electron is accelerating,
the "system" is being placed into an unstable / unbalanced energy situation.
This imbalance is re-balanced by the emission of a photon of energy.
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Old May 8th 2017, 04:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
I guess that because the electron is accelerating,
the "system" is being placed into an unstable / unbalanced energy situation.
This imbalance is re-balanced by the emission of a photon of energy.
More than that. Something caused the electron to accelerate (or deaccelerate) so it seems to be a bit of a "chicken or egg" scenario. We know light and photons are a real thing and not just a mathematical means of explaining interaction of coulomb forces. Is any electron in the universe truly balanced? I notice that physicists claim that the electromagnetic force is mediated by photons but how do they know this? How do they know that the photons are not merely a result of the changing electromagnetic forces and fields and what makes them think that photons can do anything on "their own volition"? How do we know its not just simply electromagnetic forces operating over the vast distances of space and why do we need to invoke the photon to explain it?
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