Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electron movement in a stationary magnetic field

  1. Jan 4, 2012 #1
    howdy : i'm new to this site and i have not used a forum before so this is probably going to be stupid . if so ---sorry . anyway if i have a metal magnet (ie neodymium) connected to the positive of a high voltage source and a metal pin connected to the negative of the high voltage source with it being arranged so that a spark will jump from the pin to the magnet ------ which end of the magnet should it jump toward . in otherwords is the electron that is jumping the spark gap more attrected toward the north or south pole of the magnet .
    all i see in most explanations is that an electron can be manipulated by a magnetic field BUT it never says which polarity of the magnet "pushes" and which "pulls" . i am trying to build a simple magnetically quenched spark gap for a tesla type coil apparatus . thanks for putting up with us simple folks mike
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2012 #2
    diagrams of magnetic field lines here:


    The force on a particle is given by F = qv x B where F,v, and B are vectors.....

    By convention, the magnetic field exits the magnetic from the north and re-enters at the south pole..
    A postive particle therefore moves according to the right hand rule.....and

    an electron would be a -q, so it would move opposite....in either case a charged particle
    moves othogonally to the magnetic field lines...not in alignment with them....not a good vechicle for a 'switch'...
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  4. Jan 4, 2012 #3
    The electrons are not attracted to one end of the magnet. The beam will bend perpendicular to the magnetic field of the magnet.
  5. Jan 5, 2012 #4
    #3 is to the point... I forgot to add that to my post....but realigning the magnet will cause
    different conditions as I detailed....
  6. Jan 5, 2012 #5
    thanks for your reply . in the past i have had the above described situation , and the spark (from negative terminal) would jump to the magnet . the mag was 2 x 2 x 1 thick (magnetized thru thickness) . the spark would jump , on a curve, way over to the face of the magnet , but i at the time , wasn't smart enough to write it down somewhere which pole the spark prefered . the switch i was mentioning earlier is a magnetically quenched spark gap , which was invented/patented by nicoli tesla in the early 1900s . the idea is that there is a spark gap with a huge mag field perpendicular to it . when a spark is started across the gap it "rides" ionized air which is extinguished by the mag field as it pulls the spark apart toward opposite mag poles . ----as i understand it --- thanks mike
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook