Framework for Electronic Enhancement of Laboratories

Lorentz Force

Background Information:

The Physics:

The Lorentz force is the combination of electric and magnetic force on a point charge due to electromagnetic fields. If a particle of charge q moves with velocity v in the presence of an electric field E and a magnetic field B, then it will experience a force. For any produced force there will be an opposite reactive force. In the case of the magnetic field, the reactive force may be obscure, but it must be accounted for.The equation is:

F = β x V x q x sin(θ) + E x q

Traditional Learning Methods:

The Lorentz force is difficult to simulate, and most of the times a 2D diagram is used. A common practice known as the right hand rule is often employed to bring a 3D sense to the 2D mediums used in teaching. The Lorentz force is difficult to emulate in a class room environment because it is not always obvious which direction the force is oriented.


When developing visuo-haptic simulators, we look for concepts that involve forces in order to present them from a novel perspective. We chose the Lorentz force since we observed that students have difficulty making sense of the direction and cause of the force. To provide a different perspective on the forces that act on a charged particle passing through an electromagnetic field, we have begun development of a new simulator. With the use of haptic feedback, students can experience the forces acting on the particle as they would hold the charge in their hands.

Related Resources:

This project is under development. For questions please e-mail Dr. Felix Hamza-Lup.