Glossary term: Electromagnetic Force

Description: Following Faraday and Maxwell in the 19th century, physicists describe space as filled with electric and magnetic fields. Moving electric charges create such fields around them, and in turn the motion of an electric charge is influenced by the electric and magnetic fields at its position. A positive charge will be accelerated in the direction of the electric field, a negative charge in the opposite direction; a moving electric charge will be deflected perpendicular to its direction of motion by a magnetic field. The umbrella term for these two field influences on charges is electromagnetic forces. Astronomical objects such as stars, gas clouds, whole galaxies, or swirling accretion disks have large-scale magnetic fields, where such forces can become important.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".