Classical radiation reaction off-shell corrections to the covariant Lorentz force

O. Oron, L. P. Horwitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that the problem of radiation reaction may be formulated in a space of five dimensions, with five corresponding gauge fields in the framework of the classical version of a fully gauge covariant form of the Stueckelberg-Feynman-Schwinger covariant mechanics (the zero mode fields of the 0, 1, 2, 3 components correspond to the Maxwell fields). The particles and fields are not confined to their mass shells. We show that in the mass-shell limit, the generalized Lorentz force obtained by means of the retarded Green's functions for the five-dimensional field equations provides the classical Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac radiation reaction terms (with renormalized mass and charge). We also obtain general coupled equations for the orbit and the off-shell dynamical mass during the evolution as well as an autonomous nonlinear equation of third order for the off-shell mass. The theory does not admit radiation if the particle does not move off-shell. The structure of the equations implies that the mass-shell deviation is bounded when the external field is removed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2001


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