# Do electrons only feel the electric field?

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 $\mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B}$ 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

Of course you feel it, v is a relative velocity between the charge and the current source producing the magnetic field.

Meir Achuz
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Imagine that you're an electron.

You are always at rest in your inertial frame so that you do not "feel" the $\mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B}$ 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.

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!

Electrons also have mass so they "feel" the gravitational field.

Dale
Mentor
2021 Award
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.