The rate of spontaneous decay of a moving atom

James D. Cresser*, Stephen M. Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We show how the physical processes responsible for the spontaneous decay of a dipole atom conspire to guarantee that the spontaneous decay rate of the atom transforms between different inertial reference frames exactly as required by time dilation. The method employed makes use of familiar basic properties of Maxwell's equations and special relativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1759
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2003

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