# Does an EM wave bend in a B-field?

1. Aug 29, 2010

### nonequilibrium

I read somewhere that Thomson (1897) concluded that the electron was not an EM wave because it bended in a magnetic field and that it had been proven that EM waves did not do this. Is this true?

2. Aug 29, 2010

### Curl

Why would a wave bend in a magnetic field?

A CHARGE will experience a force, but the E&M wave is a "wave", a propagating electric-magnetic field. They can superpose.

3. Aug 29, 2010

### nonequilibrium

Indeed, but my confusion arose from this: if in QM an EM wave is interpreted as a probability wave, just like an electron is interpreted as a probability wave, then due to the latter statement, a probability wave can experience a B-field. Now indeed a photon has no charge, but an EM-wave does have an E-field, so it might intermingle? And if it doesn't, is the reason a photon doesn't bend in a B-field because it has no charge, or more fundamentally that it is a wave?

4. Aug 29, 2010

### Curl

I can't explain it at the QM level, but I know that fields can superpose (shown by the linearity of Maxwell's equations).

True that electron is interpreted as a wave, however I don't think we can say "electron is a wave, photon is a wave, they're the same". Obviously the electron has a charge and it behaves differently than other waves on the larger scale. That's probably the reason, I'm not sure.

5. Aug 30, 2010

### cragar

If a photon could be bent in a magnetic field it would have to have its own B field or E field for this to happen .

6. Aug 30, 2010

### nonequilibrium

cragar: isn't that exactly what a photon has?

7. Aug 30, 2010

### cragar

Then why cant a photon emit photons.

8. Aug 30, 2010