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

  1. 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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. tiny-tim

    tiny-tim 26,041
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    welcome to pf!

    hi richieec! welcome to pf! :smile:
    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
     
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