Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Question about magnetic field generation by stream of electron

  1. May 6, 2013 #1
    An electric current going through a wire generates a magnetic field as per the right hand rule. Will a pencil stream of electrons traveling in a vacuum at near light speed also generate a magnetic field--??----Also, what would a hypothetical observer traveling at the same speed and direction as the electrons see---regarding a magnetic field---????

    randall rosenthal
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2013 #2
    This is a great question that physics people love to answer! They would not see a magnetic field. They would only see an electric field. Crazy huh? Thats how it works and that is why we often refer to the electromagnetic field as a single entity. How much of the electric part and magnetic part you see depends on how fast you are traveling (your frame of reference).
  4. May 7, 2013 #3
    why isnt the electric field affected? And what is the reason for
  5. May 16, 2013 #4
    To ModusPwnd-----thank you for your reply. However is you are stationary to the flow of electrons IN VACUUM, would you then see the magnetic field--?---r rosenthal
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook