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Interstellar Polarization and Magnetic Fields

  • P. Cugnon
Conference paper

Abstract

Since the work of Davis and Greenstein, polarization of starlight is quite gene­rally considered as one of the most spectacular manifestation of the presence of magnetic fields in the interstellar space. If polarization measurements are quali­tatively able to indicate the general pattern of the magnetic fields, a quantita­tive analysis seems more difficult to work out. A first purpose of this paper is therefore to present a synthetic view of the theory, in order to discuss the rela­tionship between the magnetic field strength and the observed quantities. Using then some recent observations of particular interest, because they correspond to different interstellar physical conditions, it is shown that any attempt to make a quantitative determination of the magnetic field from polarization results remains somewhat hazardous. However, rough estimate and scaling appear possible in some cases.

Keywords

Magnetic Field Magnetic Field Strength Polarization Measurement Molecular Cloud Optical Polarization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Cugnon
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire Royal de BelgiqueBruxellesBelgium

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