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The (nonrelativistic) Abraham-Lorentz equation of motion for a point electron, while suffering from runaway solutions and an acausal response to external forces, is compatible with the optical theorem. We show that a nonrelativistic theory of radiative reaction that allows for a finite charge distribution is not only causal and free of runaway solutions but also consistent with the optical theorem and the standard formulas for the Rayleigh and Thomson scattering cross sections. © 2011 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics