Does the fact a charge accelerates perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field when moving perpendicular to it have anything to do with the form of an EM wave?

I thought this might link because the electric and magnetic oscillations of an EM wave are perpendicular components to each other:

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I do understand the concept of circular motion in a uniform magnetic field, but exactly WHY the force exerted is perpendicular in the first place is what I'm curious about- does it link to the form of an EM wave?


1 Answer 1


Under the influence of a magnetic field, a moving charge does two things. It emits photons (almost in the direction of propagation and somewhat inclined with respect to the deflection of the charge) and it is deflected to the side, described by the Lorentz force.

Which of the two phenomena is the leading process and which is the secondary process? If we take the emission of photons - carrying a momentum - as the primary process, the deflection is the natural consequence of the photon emission.

  • $\begingroup$ And so because the deflections caused by the magnetic and electric fields are at right angles to each other this would cause a photon´s magnetic and electric oscillations to be at right angles to each other as well? $\endgroup$
    – XXb8
    Dec 3, 2021 at 8:56

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