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Advances in Mathematical Physics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 528631, 29 pages
Review Article

Electrodynamics of Radiating Charges

Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs Plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway

Received 20 March 2012; Revised 16 May 2012; Accepted 17 May 2012

Academic Editor: Andrei D. Mironov

Copyright © 2012 Øyvind Grøn. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The theory of electrodynamics of radiating charges is reviewed with special emphasis on the role of the Schott energy for the conservation of energy for a charge and its electromagnetic field. It is made clear that the existence of radiation from a charge is not invariant against a transformation between two reference frames that has an accelerated motion relative to each other. The questions whether the existence of radiation from a uniformly accelerated charge with vanishing radiation reaction force is in conflict with the principle of equivalence and whether a freely falling charge radiates are reviewed. It is shown that the resolution of an electromagnetic “perpetuum mobile paradox” associated with a charge moving geodetically along a circular path in the Schwarzschild spacetime requires the so-called tail terms in the equation of motion of a charged particle.