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Does Free-falling Electron Radiate?

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Posted by Alexander on January 25, 2001 02:35:32 UTC

I have a question. According to Einstein, gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable. All physical processes go exactly same way in free-falling elevator as in the elevator far from masses, without gravity around at all. Or, by equivalent example, there is no experiment you perform in the elevator which can detect whether the elevator is accelerating with g or it is just standing on Earth in the gravitational field g. Those statements are consequence of experimental identity between gravitational and inertial masses, and this identity is the only pillar on which GRT (gen. rel.) rests.

But how about the following experiment. If you have a free-falling on Earth electron, it should radiate e/m waves according to e/dynamics (as it is moving with acceleration g). On the other hand, if this electron is simply at rest in the gravitationla field g, it does not radiate. So this way you can tell apart acceleration and gravity. Or can't you?

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