Radiation from Bodies with Extreme Acceleration II: Kinematics [Book Review]

Foundations of Physics 33 (2):179-221 (2003)


When applied to a dipole source subjected to acceleration which is violent and long lasting (“extreme acceleration”), Maxwell's equations predict radiative power which augments Larmor's classical radiation formula by a nontrivial amount. The physical assumptions behind this result are made possible by the kinematics of a system of geometrical clocks whose tickings are controlled by cavities which are expanding inertially. For the purpose of measuring the radiation from such a source we take advantage of the physical validity of a spacetime coordinate framework (“inertially expanding frame”) based on such clocks. They are compatible and commensurable with the accelerated clocks of the accelerated source. By contrast, a common Lorentz frame with its mutually static clocks won't do: It lacks that commensurability. Inertially expanding clocks give a physicist a window into the frame of a source with extreme acceleration, and thus can locate that source and measure radiation from it without being subjected to such acceleration himself. The conclusion is that inertially expanding reference frames reveal qualitatively distinct aspects of nature which would not be accessible if inertial frames were the only admissible frames

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