Regular Article – Theoretical Physics
Radiation reaction from quantum electrodynamics and its implications for the Unruh effect
Institute for Theoretical Physics, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, 1117, Budapest, Hungary
Accepted: 19 March 2021
Published online: 4 April 2021
The Abraham–Lorentz–Dirac theory predicts vanishing radiation reaction for uniformly accelerated charges. However, since an accelerating observer should detect thermal radiation, the charge should be seen absorbing photons in the accelerated frame which, if nothing else occurs, would influence its motion. This means that either there is radiation reaction seen in an inertial frame or there should be an additional phenomenon seen in the accelerated frame countering the effect of absorption. In this paper I rederive the Abraham–Lorentz–Dirac force from quantum electrodynamics, then I study the case of a uniformly accelerated charge. I show that in the accelerated frame, in addition to the absorption of photons due to the Unruh effect there should also be stimulated emission. The net effect of these phenomena on the motion of the charge is found to be zero.
© The Author(s) 2021
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