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A view of a section of the accelerator at Fermilab. Down each side of a long corridor are tubes surrounded by orange magnets. Lots of tubes and wires and other electronics are visible.
The Fermilab facility in Illinois has a large particle accelerator (the most powerful in the world until 2008) that employs magnetic fields (magnets seen here in orange) to contain and direct its beam. This and other accelerators have been in use for several decades and have allowed us to discover some of the laws underlying all matter. (credit: ammcrim, Flickr)

Thermonuclear fusion (like that occurring in the Sun) is a hope for a future clean energy source. One of the most promising devices is the tokamak , which uses magnetic fields to contain (or trap) and direct the reactive charged particles. (See [link] .) Less exotic, but more immediately practical, amplifiers in microwave ovens use a magnetic field to contain oscillating electrons. These oscillating electrons generate the microwaves sent into the oven.

Figure a shows a tokamak in a lab. Figure b is a diagram of a tokamak. A current-carrying wire wraps around a donut-shaped vacuum chamber. Inside the chamber is plasma. The magnetic field has a toroidal and poloidal shape inside the chamber.
Tokamaks such as the one shown in the figure are being studied with the goal of economical production of energy by nuclear fusion. Magnetic fields in the doughnut-shaped device contain and direct the reactive charged particles. (credit: David Mellis, Flickr)

Mass spectrometers have a variety of designs, and many use magnetic fields to measure mass. The curvature of a charged particle’s path in the field is related to its mass and is measured to obtain mass information. (See More Applications of Magnetism .) Historically, such techniques were employed in the first direct observations of electron charge and mass. Today, mass spectrometers (sometimes coupled with gas chromatographs) are used to determine the make-up and sequencing of large biological molecules.

Section summary

  • Magnetic force can supply centripetal force and cause a charged particle to move in a circular path of radius
    r = mv qB , size 12{r= { { ital "mv"} over { ital "qB"} } ,} {}
    where v size 12{v} {} is the component of the velocity perpendicular to B size 12{B} {} for a charged particle with mass m size 12{m} {} and charge q size 12{q} {} .

Conceptual questions

How can the motion of a charged particle be used to distinguish between a magnetic and an electric field?

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High-velocity charged particles can damage biological cells and are a component of radiation exposure in a variety of locations ranging from research facilities to natural background. Describe how you could use a magnetic field to shield yourself.

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If a cosmic ray proton approaches the Earth from outer space along a line toward the center of the Earth that lies in the plane of the equator, in what direction will it be deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field? What about an electron? A neutron?

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What are the signs of the charges on the particles in [link] ?

Diagram showing magnetic field lines into the page. Charges are moving from the bottom to the top of the diagram and thus perpendicular to the field lines. Charge a curves to the left. Charge b moves in a straight line from bottom to top. Charge c curves to the right.
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Which of the particles in [link] has the greatest velocity, assuming they have identical charges and masses?

Diagram showing magnetic field lines out of the page. Charge a curves clockwise with a large radius as it moves from the bottom to the top of the diagram. Charge b curves clockwise with a much smaller radius as it moves from lower middle to upper middle of the diagram.
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Which of the particles in [link] has the greatest mass, assuming all have identical charges and velocities?

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While operating, a high-precision TV monitor is placed on its side during maintenance. The image on the monitor changes color and blurs slightly. Discuss the possible relation of these effects to the Earth’s magnetic field.

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Problems&Exercises

If you need additional support for these problems, see More Applications of Magnetism .

Questions & Answers

what is physics
Rhema Reply
a15kg powerexerted by the foresafter 3second
Firdos Reply
what is displacement
Xolani Reply
movement in a direction
Jason
hello
Hosea
Explain why magnetic damping might not be effective on an object made of several thin conducting layers separated by insulation? can someone please explain this i need it for my final exam
anas Reply
Hi
saeid
hi
Yimam
What is thê principle behind movement of thê taps control
Oluwakayode Reply
while
Hosea
what is atomic mass
thomas Reply
this is the mass of an atom of an element in ratio with the mass of carbon-atom
Chukwuka
show me how to get the accuracies of the values of the resistors for the two circuits i.e for series and parallel sides
Jesuovie Reply
Explain why it is difficult to have an ideal machine in real life situations.
Isaac Reply
tell me
Promise
what's the s . i unit for couple?
Promise
its s.i unit is Nm
Covenant
Force×perpendicular distance N×m=Nm
Oluwakayode
İt iş diffucult to have idêal machine because of FRİCTİON definitely reduce thê efficiency
Oluwakayode
if the classica theory of specific heat is valid,what would be the thermal energy of one kmol of copper at the debye temperature (for copper is 340k)
Zaharadeen Reply
can i get all formulas of physics
BPH Reply
yes
haider
what affects fluid
Doreen Reply
pressure
Oluwakayode
Dimension for force MLT-2
Promise Reply
what is the dimensions of Force?
Osueke Reply
how do you calculate the 5% uncertainty of 4cm?
melia Reply
4cm/100×5= 0.2cm
haider
how do you calculate the 5% absolute uncertainty of a 200g mass?
melia Reply
= 200g±(5%)10g
haider
use the 10g as the uncertainty?
melia
which topic u discussing about?
haider
topic of question?
haider
the relationship between the applied force and the deflection
melia
sorry wrong question i meant the 5% uncertainty of 4cm?
melia
its 0.2 cm or 2mm
haider
thank you
melia
Hello group...
Chioma
hi
haider
well hello there
sean
hi
Noks
hii
Chibueze
10g
Olokuntoye
0.2m
Olokuntoye
hi guys
thomas

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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