Aurora Borealis

The Physics of Aurora Borealis

The solar wind consists of highly ionized electrons and protons emitted from our sun.[footnoteRef:2] When these charged subatomic particles interact with the Earth's magnetic field, it creates a spectacular light display called the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere and Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere. These displays of light are best understood using particle physics. The force on a charged particle (F) is equal to the charge (q) times velocity (v) times magnetic field strength (B), according to Lorentz force law, as long as the particle is moving parallel to the magnetic field. If the perpendicular and parallel components of the velocity vector are considered separately, the sine of the angle between the magnetic field strength and parallel component equal zero, therefore, the force acting on a charged particle is equal to q*vperp*B. The path of the particle, if it were visible...
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