Fr.: rigidité magnétique
In → plasma physics, a → quantity that describes the → resistance of a → charged particle to change its direction of motion under the influence of a perpendicular → magnetic field. Rigidity is defined as: R = rLBc = (pc)/(Ze), where rL is the → Larmor radius, B is → magnetic induction, c is the → speed of light, p is the → momentum of the particle, Z is → atomic number, and e the → electron charge. Since pc has the dimensions of energy and e the dimensions of charge, rigidity has the dimensions of → volts (a 10 GeV proton has a rigidity of 10 GV). In → cosmic ray studies, the energies of cosmic rays are often quoted in terms of their rigidities, rather than their energies per nucleon.