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Lorentz Force Law

Lorentz force is the force on a point charge which is caused by the electromagnetic fields. The equation is: 

F = q(E + v x B)


F is the force experienced 

q is the hange

E is the eletric field

v is the velocity 

x is the distance

B is the magnetic field.

The Lorentz force was first derived by Oliver Heaviside in 1889.¹ However, there is evidence suggesting that there is an earlier origin by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865.²

A positively charged particle will curve perpendicular to both the velocity vector and the magnetic field according to the right-hand ruleThe magnetic force component of the Lorentz force acts as the force that acts on a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field. It is also referred to as the Laplace force.



1. Oliver Heaviside By Paul J. Nahin. p120.

2. Huray, Paul G. (2009). Maxwell's Equations. Wiley-IEEE. p. 22. ISBN 0-470-54276-4.

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