# Lorentz force for telekinesis

I am trying to come up with an explanation for how somebody could charge objects and control them with magnetic fields. I'm thinking that they could have a high voltage electric field generator to charge objects with a high amperage and then use magnetism to control the charged objects. I do have the character being able to control inanimate objects through this electric field method as well. I'm also not sure just how strong a field they really need to lift an object with Lorentz forces. I am perfectly fine with them being only able to levitate an object slightly with Lorentz forces , compared to being able to launch rocks at the speed of sound akin to a railgun.

I suppose they will need some sort of electrical generator that can generate a hand-wavy amount of amperage let’s say 100 amperes as well as an electromagnet that is about 1-3 tesla. So I guess my main question is: Is there a way for electric charging of somebody coupled with magnetism to be able to accomplish feats of telekinesis?

• I clarified it people can be moved but I would prefer for objects to be the main focus as this is telekinesis. :) Commented Apr 18 at 4:01

Technically, if I hook a wire to you and swing you around with a crane, I'm moving you with (the quantum-mechanical analog of) the Lorentz force. So... yes? Yes-ish!

But really no. Assuming that a human is a 100pF capacitor with shoes that insulate as well as a few centimeters of as dry air ($$3 kV / mm$$), we can charge the human to about $$100kV \times 100pF = 10 \mu C$$ before he discharges to the ground.

Then we put the human in a 1T magnetic field, which we're waving around at 100m/s, which is pretty dang good for an electromagnet big enough to generate 1T a few meters away. (MRI machines are a good example.)

Everything is oriented just perfectly so that the maximum force is achieved and the direction of the force is straight up.

$$q \vec v \times \vec B \le qvB = 10^{-3}N$$

He is now lighter by the weight of an eyelash.

PS: I suspect that you have a bigger effect from the interaction of the magnetic field with the ordinary uncharged material of the body. Water and most organics are weakly diamagnetic. However... levitation is not one of the hazards associated with being in the 1-3T field of an MRI machine. So it's safe to say that whatever that effect is on our levitation test subject, it's still trivial compared to his weight.

• So would electrocuting be a better alternative compared to levitating them? Commented Apr 18 at 11:40
• If you have the ability to generate a 1T magnetic field with a device compact enough to wave around at 100 m/s, you almost-certainly have access to high enough voltages and amperages to fry them. Yes. Commented Apr 18 at 17:03