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Magnetic effect on light

  1. Mar 26, 2014 #1
    Can a magnetic field in a vacuum bend the path of light?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2014 #2
    No. As far as I know, magnetic fields can:
    1 - affect the motion of free charged particles (photons don't carry charge and are unaffected by B-fields)
    2 - cause matter to become magnetized (a net alignment of the dipoles, which are throughout matter)
    3 - changing magnetic fields can induce an electric field (see Faraday's law)

    These statements are not the most general, but I think they are among the most common points one can make about magnetic fields.
  4. Mar 27, 2014 #3
    Gravitational field can, as it alters spacetime by introducing curvature. Outside gravitational fields spacetime is flat and thus light follows a straight line path. Fair enough? :smile:
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