Cyclotron Motion Due to Earth's Magnetic Field

In summary, the conversation discusses finding the location in space where an electron's cyclotron radius equals the distance from Earth. This involves using the known initial velocity of the electron, the magnetic field at Earth's surface, and the equation w = qB/m. The conversation also considers the assumption that B varies as (R1/R2)^2 and how this affects the calculation.
  • #1
1. Say that an electron is heading towards the Earth from the sun with an initial known velocity v. And we know that at Earth's surface the magnetic field is given by B1. This B varies as (R1/R2)^2 where R1 is the radius of the earth. How can I find the location in space, R3/R1, where R3 is the distance where the electron's cyclotron radius equals the distance from earth?

2. w = qB/m

R = v/w ( - cos (wt) in x direction + sin (wt) in y direction )
3. So I started by assuming that

- since B varies with (R1/R2)^2 then
B = B1 (R1/R2)^2

I'm not sure if this is a right assumption...

But anyhow,

since we know B now then

w = [ q B1 (R1/R2)^2 ] / m

then I took this w and plugged it into R = v/w ( - cos (wt) in x direction + sin (wt) in y direction ) giving me

R = (v R2^3 m)/(qB1R1^3) ( -cos (([ q B1 (R1/R2)^2 ] / m) t) + sin (([ q B1 (R1/R2)^2 ] / m)t) )

Now I don't know what to do because of the t in the cos and sin function...

I thought of squaring both sides to get cos^2+sin^1 = 1 but I don't think that would work out...
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  • #2
You can't get the angle out, because the actual radius will always depend on the direction. I guess you are supposed to assume the motion is perpendicular to the magnetic field.

1. What is cyclotron motion?

Cyclotron motion is the circular motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field.

2. How does Earth's magnetic field affect cyclotron motion?

Earth's magnetic field causes the charged particle to experience a force that is perpendicular to both the magnetic field and the particle's velocity. This force causes the particle to move in a circular path, resulting in cyclotron motion.

3. What factors affect the speed of cyclotron motion due to Earth's magnetic field?

The speed of cyclotron motion is dependent on the strength of the magnetic field, the charge of the particle, and the mass of the particle. A stronger magnetic field will result in a higher speed, while a heavier or more highly charged particle will have a slower speed.

4. Can cyclotron motion due to Earth's magnetic field be used for practical applications?

Yes, cyclotron motion is used in many practical applications such as particle accelerators, medical imaging devices, and mass spectrometers.

5. Is cyclotron motion a stable motion?

Yes, cyclotron motion is a stable motion as long as the particle's velocity and the strength of the magnetic field remain constant. Any changes in these factors could cause the particle to deviate from its circular path.

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