Cau Kiel Arbeitsgruppe "Stern- und Planetenentstehung"
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Wolf
DFG Priority Program 1573: The Physics of the Interstellar Medium
Project: Unveiling the multi-scale structure of the magnetic field in the interior and the environment of molecular clouds
Overview
For an overview about the DFG Priority Program 1573 "The Physics of the Interstellar Medium", please see >here<.

Project "Unveiling the multi-scale structure of the magnetic field in the interior and the environment of molecular clouds"
The goal of this project is to evaluate the potential of continuum polarization measurements to constrain the impact of magnetic fields on star-formation in molecular clouds.

This project is focused on the analysis of the potential of multi-wavelength high-spatial resolution continuum polarization measurements for constraining the multi-scale structure of magnetic fields in the interior and the environment of molecular clouds. We will go beyond previous approaches in this field by making use of the self-consistently simulated density, temperature, velocity, and magnetic field structure in molecular clouds and cloud cores, resulting from magneto-hydrodynamical simulations and subsequent three-dimensional radiative transfer simulations. Furthermore, currently developed grain alignment theories, considering the effect of anisotropic radiation fields, e.g., originating from embedded stars, will be applied. Different types of continuum polarization mechanisms which can be traced at optical to millimeter wavelengths will be considered as well as correlations between these and other observables in the different wavelength regimes. The results of this study will provide constraints for the accuracy, spectral coverage, and spatial resolution of polarization measurements required to constrain the multi-scale magnetic field morphology in molecular clouds.
Furthermore, we conduct our own multi-wavelength continuum polarization measurements to back models of the multi-scale structure of magnetic fields in the interior and the environment of molecular clouds.

Exemplary questions
  • Which complementary constraints about the magnetic field structure and grain alignment efficiency can be obtained from multi-wavelength observations, tracing different polarization mechanisms and grains of different properties (e.g., size, porosity)?
  • Which information about the magnetic field is provided by the polarization spectrum, i.e., the wavelength-dependent net polarization?
  • What complementary information is provided by measurements of the circular polarization (in addition to linear polarization)?
  • In how far has the interstellar foreground polarization to be taken into account in the planing (i.e., source selection) and analysis of the polarimetric observations?
  • What is the potential of existing and recently developed observing equipment, aimed at measuring the polarization of the radiation at optical to millimeter wavelengths, to study the multi-scale structure of the magnetic field in molecular clouds?

Related Publications



Staff
Sebastian Wolf, Robi Banerjee, Gesa Bertrang, Stefan Reißl


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