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Learning objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the effects of magnetic fields on moving charges.
  • Use the right-hand rule 1 to determine the velocity of a charge, the direction of the magnetic field, and the direction of magnetic force on a moving charge.
  • Calculate the magnetic force on a moving charge.

The information presented in this section supports the following AP® learning objectives and science practices:

  • 2.D.1.1 The student is able to apply mathematical routines to express the force exerted on a moving charged object by a magnetic field. (S.P. 2.2)
  • 3.C.3.1 The student is able to use right-hand rules to analyze a situation involving a current-carrying conductor and a moving electrically charged object to determine the direction of the magnetic force exerted on the charged object due to the magnetic field created by the current-carrying conductor. (S.P. 1.4)

What is the mechanism by which one magnet exerts a force on another? The answer is related to the fact that all magnetism is caused by current, the flow of charge. Magnetic fields exert forces on moving charges , and so they exert forces on other magnets, all of which have moving charges.

Right hand rule 1

The magnetic force on a moving charge is one of the most fundamental known. Magnetic force is as important as the electrostatic or Coulomb force. Yet the magnetic force is more complex, in both the number of factors that affects it and in its direction, than the relatively simple Coulomb force. The magnitude of the magnetic force     F size 12{F} {} on a charge q size 12{q} {} moving at a speed v size 12{v} {} in a magnetic field of strength B size 12{B} {} is given by

F = qvB sin θ , size 12{F= ital "qvB""sin"θ} {}

where θ size 12{θ} {} is the angle between the directions of v and B . size 12{B} {} This force is often called the Lorentz force    . In fact, this is how we define the magnetic field strength B size 12{B} {} —in terms of the force on a charged particle moving in a magnetic field. The SI unit for magnetic field strength B size 12{B} {} is called the tesla    (T) after the eccentric but brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943). To determine how the tesla relates to other SI units, we solve F = qvB sin θ size 12{F= ital "qvB""sin"θ} {} for B size 12{B} {} .

B = F qv sin θ size 12{B= { {F} over { ital "qv""sin"θ} } } {}

Because sin θ size 12{θ} {} is unitless, the tesla is

1 T = 1 N C m/s = 1 N A m size 12{"1 T"= { {"1 N"} over {C cdot "m/s"} } = { {1" N"} over {A cdot m} } } {}

(note that C/s = A).

Another smaller unit, called the gauss    (G), where 1 G = 10 4 T size 12{1`G="10" rSup { size 8{ - 4} } `T} {} , is sometimes used. The strongest permanent magnets have fields near 2 T; superconducting electromagnets may attain 10 T or more. The Earth’s magnetic field on its surface is only about 5 × 10 5 T size 12{5 times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 5} } `T} {} , or 0.5 G.

The direction of the magnetic force F size 12{F} {} is perpendicular to the plane formed by v size 12{v} {} and B , as determined by the right hand rule 1 (or RHR-1), which is illustrated in [link] . RHR-1 states that, to determine the direction of the magnetic force on a positive moving charge, you point the thumb of the right hand in the direction of v , the fingers in the direction of B , and a perpendicular to the palm points in the direction of F . One way to remember this is that there is one velocity, and so the thumb represents it. There are many field lines, and so the fingers represent them. The force is in the direction you would push with your palm. The force on a negative charge is in exactly the opposite direction to that on a positive charge.

Questions & Answers

Why does earth exert only a tiny downward pull?
Mya Reply
Why is light bright?
Abraham Reply
what is radioactive element
Attah Reply
an 8.0 capacitor is connected by to the terminals of 60Hz whoes rms voltage is 150v. a.find the capacity reactance and rms to the circuit
Aisha Reply
thanks so much. i undersooth well
Valdes Reply
what is physics
Nwafor Reply
is the study of matter in relation to energy
a submersible pump is dropped a borehole and hits the level of water at the bottom of the borehole 5 seconds later.determine the level of water in the borehole
Obrian Reply
what is power?
aron Reply
power P = Work done per second W/ t. It means the more power, the stronger machine
e.g. heart Uses 2 W per beat.
A spherica, concave shaving mirror has a radius of curvature of 32 cm .what is the magnification of a persons face. when it is 12cm to the left of the vertex of the mirror
Alona Reply
did you solve?
my name is Abu m.konnek I am a student of a electrical engineer and I want you to help me
the magnification k = f/(f-d) with focus f = R/2 =16 cm; d =12 cm k = 16/4 =4
what do we call velocity
A weather vane is some sort of directional arrow parallel to the ground that may rotate freely in a horizontal plane. A typical weather vane has a large cross-sectional area perpendicular to the direction the arrow is pointing, like a “One Way” street sign. The purpose of the weather vane is to indicate the direction of the wind. As wind blows pa
Kavita Reply
what about the wind vane
If a prism is fully imersed in water then the ray of light will normally dispersed or their is any difference?
Anurag Reply
the same behavior thru the prism out or in water bud abbot
If this will experimented with a hollow(vaccum) prism in water then what will be result ?
What was the previous far point of a patient who had laser correction that reduced the power of her eye by 7.00 D, producing a normal distant vision power of 50.0 D for her?
Jaydie Reply
What is the far point of a person whose eyes have a relaxed power of 50.5 D?
What is the far point of a person whose eyes have a relaxed power of 50.5 D?
A young woman with normal distant vision has a 10.0% ability to accommodate (that is, increase) the power of her eyes. What is the closest object she can see clearly?
29/20 ? maybes
In what ways does physics affect the society both positively or negatively
Princewill Reply
how can I read physics...am finding it difficult to understand...pls help
rerry Reply
try to read several books on phy don't just rely one. some authors explain better than other.
And don't forget to check out YouTube videos on the subject. Videos offer a different visual way to learn easier.
hope that helps
I have a exam on 12 february
David Reply
what is velocity
the speed of something in a given direction.
Practice Key Terms 5

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