Angular momentum loss mechanisms and stellar spin-down

  • L. Mestel
Invited Reviews
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 458)


The theory of magnetic braking by a thermo-centrifugal stellar wind is summarized. The basic result — ‘effective corotation’ out to the Alfvén surface — yields approximate laws for the spin-down of late-type stars, if one adopts a simple phenomenological dynamo relation between magnetic flux and angular velocity, and a similar relation between mass loss and magnetic flux. Comparison with the observed distributions of angular velocity in young stellar clusters already sets stringent constraints on the theory.


Angular Momentum Field Line Wind Zone Spectral Type Dead Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Mestel
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomy Centre, Division of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonEngland

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