Physics Question #2943

Tsiadimos Nick, a 30 year old male from Athens, Greece asks on September 19, 2005,

If we put a current-carrying conductor inside a magnetic field (i.e. between two permanent magnets), a Lorentz force will be exerted on the conductor. What is the type-magnitude-direction of the force that is exerted on the permanent magnets because of the conductor's magnetic field?

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The answer

James Livingston answered on October 14, 2005

If the conductor is placed between the north pole of one permanent magnet and the south pole of another permanent magnet, and it lies perpendicular to the magnetic field between the two permanent magnets, the Lorentz force on the conductor will be directed perpendicular to both the current-carrying conductor and the magnetic field. The magnetic field from the current-carrying conductor will exert an equal and opposite force on the permanent magnets, but usually the magnets are constrained to be stationary.

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