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Force on a conductor in a magnetic field

  1. Oct 15, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Bill knows that a solution with an ionic salt dissolved in itwill allow a current to flow. Bill finds this quite interesting, so he finds a piece of plastic tubing and hangs it from an apparatus. He pours seawater into the tube until it is full. He then moves a magnet around the tube. Bill then uses a cell to create a current in the solution. Will a force act on the tube? Explain your answer.


    2. Relevant equations
    F = BIL


    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have no idea. I'm not sure if F = BIL only applies to electron flow, or ion flow as well.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2

    Hootenanny

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    Nope, F=BiL works for all currents :smile:
     
  4. Oct 16, 2007 #3
    You sure, got some proof? It is a bit far-fetched to just take someone's word for it. Because as far as I know, in electron flow, only electrons move. Whereas, in ion flow, cations and anions both flow in different directions.
     
  5. Oct 16, 2007 #4

    Hootenanny

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    Indeed cations and anions flow in the opposite directions; however, the question states that there is a current flowing, this means there must be more cations flowing than anions [or vice versa]. Since we have a current, we have a force...
     
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