The comparison between electric and magnetic forces in physics for high school students is presented briefly.

## Definition and formulas:

Electric force is repulsion or attraction between two charged objects or particles, moving or at rest, and is calculated by **Coulomb’s law **with the following formula

\[\vec{F}_E =k\,\frac{|q|\,|q^{'}|}{r^{2}}\,\hat{r}\]

where $\hat{r}$ is the unit vector that indicates the direction of the electric force and $r$ is the distance between the two charges. According to Coulomb's law, this force is proportional to the product of the magnitudes of the charges that are $|q|$ and $|q'|$.

But magnetic force is a repulsion or attraction __force between two current-carrying conductors__ or a force experienced by a charged particle moving through a magnetic field and is determined by the formulas below

\begin{align*} \vec{F}_B&=i\vec{\ell}\times \vec{B} \\ \vec{F}_B&=q\vec{v}\times \vec{B} \end{align*} where $\times$ is the cross product of the two vectors.

In short: *an electric force is completely independent of velocity but the magnetic force is essentially dependent on velocity.*

## Direction of Forces:

The direction of the electric force between two charges is along the joining line of them (Figure below) but that of magnetic force is always perpendicular to the plane of $\vec{v}\, -\, \vec{B}$ and is determined by the right-hand rule.

- The source of the creation of electric force is charged objects or particles which arise in the so-called
**two kinds called positive and negative**.

- Electric force does work on a rest or moving charge BUT the magnetic force does only work on moving charge.

- The electric force vector is along the direction of the electric field $\vec E$, BUT the magnetic force is perpendicular to the plane of $\vec v-\vec B$.

- Electric force can change the speed or kinetic energy of a particle BUT magnetic force can alter only the direction of the velocity of a particle.

You can also learn the **difference between transverse and longitudinal waves** quickly.

**Electric force** and **magnetic force** absolutely solved problems.