# Do charged particles always travel in a spring shape around magnetic fields or only when the magnetic field is from a solenoid?

I have seen two contradictory descriptions of how electrons and other charged particles travel around magnetic fields; in one, they travel in circles around magnetic field lines, in the other, they travel in coil or spring-like paths around magnetic fields, with that said, which path do they actually travel when it's around a normal permanent magnet?

• One can setup a system with orthogonal magnetic and electric fields in which the charged particles will actually travel along ballistic (i.e., straight) trajectories in a direction orthogonal to both fields, parallel to the direction defined by $\mathbf{E} \times \mathbf{B}$ (i.e., called the ExB-drift). So no, they do not always travel in helical paths about paths of constant magnetic flux. – honeste_vivere Jun 4 '17 at 17:03