those pesky electrons

Anton Sherwood (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 18:37:32 -0800 (PST)

somebody wrote
: > Newton says an object moving in a circle is accelerating toward the
: > center of the circle. Maxwell says an accelerating charge will radiate
: > an electromagnetic wave and give up energy. BUT...
: >
: > An electron is a charge. The electron does not usually radiate an
: > electromagnetic wave. The electron does not give up energy. The electron
: > does not spiral into the nucleus.

danny explained:
: I think he meant that the object would have to be going "towards" the
: center so as not to fly off its orbit, it doesnt mean that it gets any
: closer to the center though.

What's your point, danny? Is the electron accelerating, or not?
If it is accelerating, then it ought to release energy, or Maxwell's
theory is wrong (and radios don't work...). But if it releases energy,
the energy must come from somewhere. Where? From the electron itself?
But that would mean the electron's mass decreases, and it's well known
that all electrons have the same mass. From the electron's orbit? But
electrons don't fall into the nucleus. From elsewhere?

A charged particle circling in a cyclotron does release energy
(called synchrotron radiation), and its orbit does change.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*