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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 there factors affect the surface tension of a liquid
Promise Reply
formula for impedance
muyiwa Reply
ehat is central forces
Nita Reply
what is distance?
Jonathan Reply
What does mean ohms law imply
Victoria Reply
ohms law state that the electricity passing through a metallic conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference across its end
muyiwa
what is matter
folajin Reply
Anything that occupies space
Kevin
Any thing that has weight and occupies space
Victoria
Anything which we can feel by any of our 5 sense organs
Suraj
Right
Roben
thanks
Suraj
what is a sulphate
Alo
any answers
Alo
the time rate of increase in velocity is called
Blessing Reply
acceleration
Emma
What is uniform velocity
Victoria
Greetings,users of that wonderful app.
Frank Reply
how to solve pressure?
Cruz Reply
how do we calculate weight and eara eg an elefant that weight 2000kg has four fits or legs search of surface eara is 0.1m2(1metre square) incontact with the ground=10m2(g =10m2)
Cruz
P=F/A
Mira
can someone derive the formula a little bit deeper?
Bern
what is coplanar force?
OLADITI Reply
forces acting and lying on d same plane
Promise
what is accuracy and precision
Peace Reply
How does a current follow?
Vineeta Reply
follow?
akif
which one dc or ac current.
akif
how does a current following?
Vineeta
?
akif
AC current
Vineeta
AC current follows due to changing electric field and magnetic field.
akif
you guys are just saying follow is flow not follow please
Abubakar
ok bro thanks
akif
flows
Abubakar
but i wanted to understand him/her in his own language
akif
but I think the statement is written in English not any other language
Abubakar
my mean that in which form he/she written this,will understand better in this form, i write.
akif
ok
Abubakar
ok thanks bro. my mistake
Vineeta
u are welcome
Abubakar
what is a semiconductor
Vineeta Reply
substances having lower forbidden gap between valence band and conduction band
akif
what is a conductor?
Vineeta
replace lower by higher only
akif
convert 56°c to kelvin
Abubakar
How does a current follow?
Vineeta
A semiconductor is any material whose conduction lies between that of a conductor and an insulator.
AKOWUAH
what is Atom? what is molecules? what is ions?
Abubakar Reply
atoms are the smallest unit of an element which is capable of behaving as a single unit
Promise
a molecule is d smallest unit of a substances capable of independent existence and can also retain the chemical proper ties of that substance
Promise
an ion is referred to as freely moving charged particles
Promise
What is a molecule
Samuel Reply
Is a unit of a compound that has two or more atoms either of the same or different atoms
Justice
A molecule is the smallest indivisible unit of a compound, Just like the atom is the smallest indivisible unit of an element.
Rachel
what is a molecule?
Vineeta

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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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