In physics, the **Lorentz force** is the force exerted on a charged particle in an electromagnetic field. The particle will experience an electric force q**E** and a magnetic force q**v** × **B**. Combined they give the Lorentz force equation

where **E** is the electric field, **B** is the magnetic field, *q* is the charge of the particle, **v** is its current velocity (expressed as a vector), and × is the cross product.

Thus an electron *q* will simply be accelerated in the *same* linear orientation as the **E** field, but that electron will *spiral* when travelling through the **B** field, due to the orientation of the cross product operator, by the right-hand rule.

## See also