Equilibrium for Classical Zero-Point Radiation: Detailed Balance Under Scattering by a Classical Charged Harmonic Oscillator

12 Jan 2019  ·  Boyer Timothy H. ·

It has been shown repeatedly over a period of 50 years that the use of relativistic classical physics and the inclusion of classical electromagnetic zero-point radiation leads to the Planck blackbody spectrum for classical radiation equilibrium. However, none of this work involves scattering calculations... In contrast to this work, currently accepted physical theory connects classical physics to only the Rayleigh-Jeans spectrum. Indeed, in the past, it has been shown that a nonlinear classical oscillator (which is necessarily a nonrelativistic scattering system) achieves equilibrium only for the Rayleigh-Jeans spectrum where the random radiation present at the frequency of the second harmonic of the oscillator motion has the same energy per normal mode as the radiation present at the fundamental frequency. Here we continue work emphasizing the importance of relativistic versus nonrelativistic analysis. We consider the scattering of random classical radiation by a charged harmonic oscillator of small but non-zero oscillatory amplitude (which can be considered as a relativistic scattering system) and show that detailed radiation balance holds not only at the fundamental frequency of the oscillator but through the first harmonic corresponding to quadrupole scattering, provided that the radiation energy per normal mode at the first harmonic is double the radiation energy per normal mode at the fundamental frequency. This condition corresponds exactly to the zero-point radiation spectrum which is linear in frequency. It is suggested that for this relativistic scattering system, the detailed balance for zero-point radiation holds not only for the fundamental and first harmonic but extends to all harmonics. Here we have the first example of the detailed balance of zero-point radiation under relativistic scattering. read more

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Classical Physics