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Session 51 - Interstellar Medium II.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Dipole radiation in the 10-100 GHz frequency range emitted by rotating dust grains is partially polarized. The degree of this polarization varies with the grain environment. Contrary to the common belief that paramagnetic dissipation saturates at high frequencies, we show that paramagnetic relaxation can be an important means of grain alignment. The enhanced relaxation at high rotational velocities arises from the Barnett effect, whereby rotating grains become magnetized.
We compute the degree of polarized rotational emission that is expected from various phases of the diffuse interstellar media as well as dark clouds. We show that this polarized Galactic emission will be a serious complication for intended polarimetry of the cosmic microwave background.
Program listing for Thursday