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!

What is electron cyclotron frequency?

  1. Apr 8, 2008 #1
    Can somebody explain the electron cyclotron frequency with minimum math please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    It is the number of revolutions per second of the electron.
  4. Apr 9, 2008 #3
    Thats it. Revolutions around what? the nucleus? why is it called the electron-cyclotron?
  5. Aug 18, 2008 #4
    The electron cyclotron frequency refers to an electron's orbit in a magnetic field. The frequency of this orbit is given as eB/m where e is elementary charge, B is magnetic field strength and m is mass of electron. The radius of this orbit (either called the cyclotron radius or the Larmor radius) depends on the kinetic energy of the electron perpendicular to the magnetic field and is given by m*u_perp/(eB) where u_perp is the velocity of an electron perpendicular to the magnetic field.

    Why it is called the "cyclotron" I am not sure. However, it is always called cyclotron when referring to this kind of motion, which is typically the smallest orbit and the highest frequency, as opposed to other "guiding center" orbits (e.g. magnetron) an electron can have in magnetic confinement devices.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook