An unexpected prediction of classical electrodynamics is that a charge can accelerate before a force is applied. We would expect that a preaccelerated charge would radiate so that there would be spontaneous preradiation, an acausal phenomenon. We reexamine the subtle relation between the Larmor formula for the power radiated by a point charge and the Abraham-Lorentz equation and find that for well-behaved external forces acting for finite times, the charge does not radiate in time intervals where there is preacceleration. That is, for these forces preradiation does not exist even though the charge is preaccelerated. The radiative energy is emitted only in time intervals when the external force acts on the charge.

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8.
There is another example of an acausal term in electrodynamics. The Coulomb-gauge scalar potential ΦC and hence its gradient ΦC propagate instantaneously, which violates causality. However, the second term of the electric field E=ΦC(1c)ACt contains ΦC, which exactly cancels the acausal term ΦC, so that the field E, is given by its usual retarded expression. See, for example,
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11.
The condition in the distant future a()=0 in Eq. (2) fixes the condition in the distant past a()=0 if well-behaved external forces, f(±)=0, are considered. If instead, we consider these same forces and assume a()=0, then the solution of Eq. (2) in the distant future becomes infinite, a()=. In this sense the physics of the AL equation is consistent with the idea that the future determines the past. We note also that f(±)=0 and a(±)=0 are sufficient conditions to guarantee the vanishing of the radiation reaction force mτȧ at t=±.
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See the recent review of
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