# Force experienced by a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field

I'm a little bit confused about this...i know that when a current-carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field, it experiences a force called Lorentz force, this is the formula:

F = Bil

but the thing i can't understand is whether this FORCE is perpendicular to the magnetic field or the magnetic field is perpendicular to the CURRENT?

by the right hand rule, i can see easily that the magnetic field is perpendicular to the force, but in some books and examples it says that the current must be perpendicular to the magnetic field for applies this formula.

tiny-tim
Homework Helper
welcome to pf!

hi richieec! welcome to pf! F = Bil

but the thing i can't understand is whether this FORCE is perpendicular to the magnetic field or the magnetic field is perpendicular to the CURRENT?

… in some books and examples it says that the current must be perpendicular to the magnetic field for applies this formula.

for this formula, yes

the general formula is F = I l x B

so this formula, F = BIl, only works if the current direction (l) is perpendicular to the magnetic field