The ponderomotive Lorentz force

Graham Cox, Mark Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper describes a curious phenomenon: a particle in a rapidly varying potential is subject to an effective magnetic-like force. This force is in addition to the well-known ponderomotive force, but it has not been shown to exist before except for the linear case of a rapidly rotating quadratic saddle potential. We show that this is a universal phenomenon: the magnetic-like force arises generically in potential force fields with rapid periodic time dependence, including but not limited to rotational dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4030-4045
Number of pages16
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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