We have a problem.Maxwell’s equations tell us that a moving charged particle (like an electron) must radiate energy when it is slowed or when its path is bent.When an electron radiates energy it loses its energy.When an electron circles an nucleus, it must be accelerated in a closed path, so it must radiate energy and lose energy.When the electron loses its energy, it must spiral into the nucleus and the atom should be destroyed.This (classical) description of the atom must be wrong, since we’re still here.How do we find an explanation out of this dilemma?
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Electromagnetic Radiation• In addition to transfer as heat, energy can be transferred as light or radiation.• Some chemical reactions emit light as they proceed: fire, “light sticks”,fireflies.Radiation is propagated through space as waves: when a charged particle is accelerated, it produces a pulsating electric field. The electric field creates a pulsating magnetic field that gives rise to another electric field farther away, and so on, making a train of pulses called an electromagnetic wave.Characteristics of electromagnetic waves:The “strength” of the electromagnetic wave is called its amplitude.The amplitude of an electromagnetic wave oscillates like a sine wave: