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mass from energy


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I am wondering if the inertia of particles with mass could be due to the motion of the electrons. Specifically, I wonder if an atom resists motion because the electrons are already orbiting at relativistic speeds and so when the atom has to move, the speed of the atom is added to the electrons at the point in their orbit where they go in the same direction as the atom is moving. In this sense, the electrons might resist acceleration in the direction of motion when moved. Because the amount of energy needed to increase the electron speed in the direction of motion is greater than that used while the electron is going in the opposite direction, the atom as a whole requires energy to accelerate. Is this a plausible link between relativism and the inertia of particles of matter generally? If not, why not?


edit: could this also explain length-contraction if the electron orbits shorten in the direction of motion due to higher energy required than when they are moving perpendicular to the direction of motion? i.e. it is almost as if the electrons are encountering friction in the part of their orbit that goes in the same direction as the atom's motion.


Also, why would the electrons require more energy to accelerate at relativistic speeds? Because of blue-shifting of their EM wake, which could resist compression due to the fixed propagation speed of the waves/photons?

Edited by lemur
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Short answer: Electrons don't orbit. That's a classical view, and the QM reality is different.


You could test this by trying to accelerate different isobars (same mass number) with different electron configurations and seeing what happens. I have to think that if it were true, someone would have noticed by now.

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