# Magnetic Forces on Moving Charges True or False

## Homework Statement

Consider a charged particle moving with velocity v through a magnetic field B. Answer True or False.

1) The magnetic field B is always perpendicular to the acceleration a of the particle.
2) The magnetic force F is always perpendicular to the acceleration a of the particle.
3) The acceleration a of the particle is always perpendicular to the velocity v.
4) The force F exerted by the magnetic field is always perpendicular to the velocity v.

## Homework Equations

F = qv x B (cross product, magnetic force on a moving charged particle).

## The Attempt at a Solution

I tried 1) false 2) true 3) false 4) true and FFFT, but it was wrong. I was sure about my first answer since the magnetic force is always perpendicular to B and V.

## Answers and Replies

tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
hi devilaudy! think about (3) again …

what does the magnetic force equation mean? hi devilaudy! think about (3) again …

what does the magnetic force equation mean? Thank you for answering!! I was not really thinking about the acceleration, I thought it would have the same direction as the velocity of the particle! But would it be perpendicular to its motion? Then the acceleration would be parallel to the force exerted by the magnetic field, so the answers would be TFTT. I am not sure if I am getting it right...

^ That looks right to me.

It's easier to think about this with a concrete example. Suppose the particle is positively charged, moving to the right, and the magnetic field points into the page/screen. Use the right hand rule to figure out the direction of the force. What kind of motion does the particle undergo?

Last edited:
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
hi devilaudy! (just got up :zzz:)
Then the acceleration would be parallel to the force exerted by the magnetic field

that's right … good ol' newton's second law … acceleration is always parallel to force! (so in a constant magnetic field, everything goes in a circle …*the faster it goes, the larger the circle … see if you can prove that)
, so the answers would be TFTT. I am not sure if I am getting it right...

i think you're confusing field with force 