Interstellar Dust Grains

  • Walter J. Maciel


This chapter discusses the interstellar grains, including the effects of extinction, polarization, and energy emission in the infrared spectrum. An overview of Mie’s theory is given, and the chapter ends with a discussion of the physical properties of the interstellar grains.


Molecular Cloud Efficiency Factor Planetary Nebula Interstellar Cloud Interstellar Dust 
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  1. Dyson, J., Williams, D.A.: The Physics of the Interstellar Medium. Institute of Physics Publishing, London (1997). Referred to in  Chapter 1. Includes a good discussion on interstellar grains and their physical properties, such as temperature and electric chargeMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Evans, A.: The Dusty Universe. Wiley, New York (1994). A very complete and up to date introduction to interstellar, circumstellar, and extragalactic dust grainsGoogle Scholar
  3. Greenberg, J.M.: In: McDonnell, J.A.M. (ed.) Cosmic Dust. Wiley, New York (1978). Excellent review article on interstellar dust grains. See also Setti, G.G. & Fazzio, G.G. (eds.). Infrared Astronomy. Dordrecht, Reidel, 1978 and the recent compilation of d'Hendrecourt, L.; Joblin, C. & Jones, A. (eds.). Solid Interstellar Matter: the ISO Revolution. Paris, EDP, 1999Google Scholar
  4. Herbig, G.H.: The diffuse interstellar bands. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 33, 19 (1995). Recent review article about diffuse interstellar bands, including a catalogue of observed bands in the direction of HD 183143ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Mie, G.: Beiträge zur Optik trüber Medien, speziell kolloidaler Metallösungen. Ann. Phys. 25, 377 (1908). Classical work on the theory of the interaction of radiation with grains. See also Debye, P. Ann. Phys. vol. 30, p. 59, 1909MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Osterbrock, D.: Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei. University Science Books, Mill Valley (1989). Referred to in  Chapter 1. Includes a discussion on grains and interstellar extinctionCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Puget, J.L., Leger, A.: A new component of the interstellar matter - Small grains and large aromatic molecules. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 27, 161 (1989). Review article about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and its applications to the interstellar medium physicsADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Savage, B.D., Mathis, J.S.: Observed properties of interstellar dust. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 17, 73 (1979). Detailed study of the interstellar extinction curve. Figure 9.3 and Table 9.1 are based on this reference. See also Mathis, J.S. Ann. Rev. Astron. & Astrophys. vol. 28, p.37, 1990; Rep. Prog. Phys. vol. 56, p.605, 1993 e Mathis, J.S.; Rumpl, W. & Nordsieck, K.H. Astrophys. J. vol. 217, p.425, 1977 (MRN)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Scheffler, H., Elsässer, H.: Physics of the Galaxy and Interstellar Matter. Springer, Berlin (1988). Referred to in  Chapter 1. This book contains a good discussion on grains and their physical properties in connection with the structure of our GalaxyGoogle Scholar
  10. Spitzer, L.: Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium. Wiley, New York (1978). Referred to in  Chapter 1. Includes an excellent discussion on interstellar grains, their optical properties, physical properties, and composition. Figures 9.1 and 9.4 are based on this referenceGoogle Scholar
  11. van de Hulst, H.C.: Light Scattering by Small Particles. Wiley, New York (1957). Basic text on light scattering theory by solid particles, with direct application to interstellar grains. See also Bohren, C.F. & Huffman, D.R. Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles. New York, Wiley, 1983Google Scholar
  12. Whittet, D.C.B.: Dust in the Galactic Environment. Institute of Physics Publishing, London (1992). A good general introduction to interstellar dust grainsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wickramasinghe, N.C.: Interstellar Grains. Chapman & Hall, London (1967). A complete discussion on interstellar grains. See also Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N.C. The theory of cosmic grains, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 1991; Wickramasinghe, N.C.; Kahn, F.D. & Mezger, P.G. (eds.). Interstellar Matter}, Genebra, Saas-Fee, 1972, and Wickramasinghe, N.C. & Nandy, K.. Rep. Prog. Phys. vol. 35, p.157, 1972. Figure 9.2 is based on this last referenceGoogle Scholar
  14. Wynn-Williams, G.: The Fullness of Space. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1992). Referred to in  Chapter 1. Includes a chapter on interstellar grains, their physical properties, composition, and on the distribution of polarization vectors in our GalaxyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter J. Maciel
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Astronomia IAG/USPCidade UniversitariaSão PauloBrazil

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