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Circle or polygon for charged particle in magnetic field...

  1. Nov 23, 2015 #1
    ...perpendicular to its path? OK; let's say you have any charged particle moving perpendicular to a magnetic field; does it describe a gigantic polygon or a perfect circle? I think it's a polygon; the particle absorbs a "quantum of force" from the magnetic field, so to speak, and changes direction. It then travels some distance in a straight line and then the process is repeated. Of course the length of a side is incredibly small and macroscopically it will look like a circle.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2015 #2
    Classically, it is a circle.
    Quantum mechanically, a unique trajectory for the particle cannot even be defined.
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