1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Lorentz force (EM), what happens if

  1. Oct 20, 2009 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm wondering what happens (or if it makes sense) if in the formula [tex]\mathbf{F} = q (\mathbf{E} + \mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B})[/tex] we replace [tex]v[/tex] by Lorentz factor, that is [tex]\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}[/tex].
    I realize that in the new formula I'm cross-producting a scalar with a vector, but I could assignate a direction to Lorentz factor.

    For example, would this changed formula be more accurate than the non modified one? Or does it make sense?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    It doesn't make sense.

    Apart from the problem you identified, the dimensions no longer match. What problem are you trying to fix anyway? The Lorentz force equation is exact - often one uses it to define the electric and magnetic fields.
  4. Oct 20, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Thanks for the reply.
    I wasn't trying to fix anything, it occured to me by chance. I wasn't aware that the Lorentz force was exact, nice to know.

    Thanks a lot for the information.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook