0
$\begingroup$

I know that a charged particle moving in a magnetic field experiences a magnetic force that is the cross product of the velocity of the charge and the magnetic field. My understanding is that the magnetic field exerts a magnetic force on the particle because of its electric charge.

But a moving particle also generates a magnetic field of its own. My textbook seems to suggest that the magnetic field of the moving particle creates an imbalance in the magnetic field it is travelling through, so the field tries to "balance" the field by exerting a force on the charge.

So which explanation is correct?

Thanks

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The first one. The second one does not enter the equations of motion ;-) $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Kalitvianski Jul 30 '18 at 8:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If the textbook is written in English, I'd be interested to know its name and author(s). $\endgroup$ – Philip Wood Jul 30 '18 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ A quotation from the textbook would be helpful. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Jul 30 '18 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ The resulting (total) magnetic field (for another particle) depends on the velocity direction of the first particle, so it is not correct to speak of "balabce" or "compensation", whatever. $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Kalitvianski Jul 30 '18 at 10:13
0
$\begingroup$

The first explanation is correct.

The charged particle (or object) does not experience a resultant force due to its own magnetic field, it only experiences a resultant force due to the applied magnetic field. Any forces the particle (object) exerts on itself are internal forces, which do not affect the motion of its centre of mass. This applies also to electrostatic and gravitational forces, and is a consequence of Newton's 3rd Law.

However, the magnetic force on another particle or object is the sum of the forces due to the applied field and the field generated by your moving charge.

Likewise both charged plates of a capacitor contribute to the total electrostatic field between them, but the force on one plate is due only to the field created by the other charged plate, not due to the total field between the plates, which includes its own electric field. See Attractive force between capacitor plates. By contrast, a charged particle between the plates experiences a resultant force due to the electric fields of both plates - but again not due to its own electric field.

Note that I am assuming that there is no acceleration of the charged particle. As is explained in Does a point charge exert force on itself?, internal forces do not cancel out when there is acceleration, leading to the emission of energy.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.