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Basic Facts About Spiral Motion - Windows to the Universe

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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This image shows how electrons will circle around a magnetic field line one way and a proton will circle in the opposite direction.
Movie adapted from original clips provided courtesy of Professor Patricia Reiff, Rice University, Connections Program.

Basic Facts About Spiral Motion

Protons and electrons can't move across magnetic field lines very easily. So sometimes these particles are are forced to spiral around them. Electrons cirle the field line in one direction, protons in the opposite direction.

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Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF