Axiomatic approach to electromagnetic and gravitational radiation reaction of particles in curved spacetime
Abstract
The problem of determining the electromagnetic and gravitational ``selfforce'' on a particle in a curved spacetime is investigated using an axiomatic approach. In the electromagnetic case, our key postulate is a ``comparison axiom,'' which states that whenever two particles of the same charge e have the same magnitude of acceleration, the difference in their selfforce is given by the ordinary Lorentz force of the difference in their (suitably compared) electromagnetic fields. We thereby derive an expression for the electromagnetic selfforce which agrees with that of DeWitt and Brehme as corrected by Hobbs. Despite several important differences, our analysis of the gravitational selfforce proceeds in close parallel with the electromagnetic case. In the gravitational case, our final expression for the (reduced order) equations of motion shows that the deviation from geodesic motion arises entirely from a ``tail term,'' in agreement with recent results of Mino et al. Throughout the paper, we take the view that ``point particles'' do not make sense as fundamental objects, but that ``point particle equations of motion'' do make sense as means of encoding information about the motion of an extended body in the limit where not only the size but also the charge and mass of the body go to zero at a suitable rate. Plausibility arguments for the validity of our comparison axiom are given by considering the limiting behavior of the selfforce on extended bodies.
 Publication:

Physical Review D
 Pub Date:
 September 1997
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevD.56.3381
 arXiv:
 arXiv:grqc/9610053
 Bibcode:
 1997PhRvD..56.3381Q
 Keywords:

 04.25.g;
 04.30.w;
 Approximation methods;
 equations of motion;
 Gravitational waves: theory;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 37 pages, LaTeX with style package RevTeX 3.0