Magnetic force on a charge

If a positive charge is moving through a magnetic field, the force on that charge is given by

F = qvB

The direction of the force is given by the right hand rule. Note that the direction is opposite if charge is negative.

Acceleration of a charged particle

  • The force applied to a charge by a magnetic field is always right angles to the velocity of that particle
  • Hence, the force acts as a centripetal force and causes the particle to move in a circle

Since F = mv2/r and F = qvB,

r = mv/qB

From the above equation,

  • If mass or velocity increases, the greater the radius
  • If q or B increases, radius decreases

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