Do electrons only feel the electric field?

  • Thread starter johne1618
  • Start date
  • #1
370
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Do electrons only "feel" the electric field?

Imagine that you're an electron.

You are always at rest in your inertial frame so that you do not "feel" the [itex]\mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B}[/itex] term of the Lorentz force.

Thus, from your perspective, you only ever "feel" an electric field.

Magnetic fields only affect other electrons!
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,233
17
Of course you feel it, v is a relative velocity between the charge and the current source producing the magnetic field.
 
  • #3
clem
Science Advisor
1,308
15
Imagine that you're an electron.

You are always at rest in your inertial frame so that you do not "feel" the [itex]\mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B}[/itex] term of the Lorentz force.

Thus, from your perspective, you only ever "feel" the electric field.

The magnetic field is only something that affects other electrons!
In the rest frame of the electron, the Lorentz force is only due to the electric field.
But, the electron has a magnetic moment that is affected by the magnetic field.
 
  • #4
370
0
In the rest frame of the electron, the Lorentz force is only due to the electric field.
But, the electron has a magnetic moment that is affected by the magnetic field.
Good point!
 
  • #5
1,254
105
Electrons also have mass so they "feel" the gravitational field.
 
  • #6
29,082
5,350
You are always at rest in your inertial frame
This is true, but there is no reason that you need to use your inertial frame. The principle of relativity guarantees that you can use any inertial frame you choose.

Also, a free electron in an EM field is usually accelerating and therefore does not have an inertial frame in which it is always at rest.
 

Related Threads on Do electrons only feel the electric field?

Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
743
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
210
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
8
Views
7K
Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
528
Replies
11
Views
386
Top