Magnetic fields and inter stella medium

In summary, magnetic fields are generated in the interstellar medium by two possible methods: primordial fields or the galactic dynamo. Both lead to fields that are stronger than what is seen in newborn galaxies.
  • #1
wolram
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Can anyone point me to some reference as to how magnetic fields are
produced in the inter stella medium please.
 
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  • #2
I don't know much about the subject myself, but I suggest either "Physical Processes of the Interstellar Medium" by Lyman Spitzer (only small parts about magnetic fields) or "Plasma Physics for Astrophysics" by Russel Kulsrud.
 
  • #3
Thanks Space tiger, i think this is a under rated topic, and think it needs
more understanding, if anyone has a deep understanding on this, i would
be greatful to hear from them.
 
  • #4
wolram said:
Can anyone point me to some reference as to how magnetic fields are
produced in the inter stella medium please.
Here are a few good links on that:

http://astronomy.sussex.ac.uk/~petert/ism2/magfield.pdf

http://www.bao.ac.cn/bao/hjl/xian/proceedings/Katia/fin/Katia.pdf

http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin/fulltext?format=application/pdf&identifier=oai%3AarXiv.org%3Aastro-ph%2F0012301

http://www.aas.org/publications/baas/v36n5/aas205/1306.htm

http://flux.aps.org/meetings/BAPSMAY96/abs/S1335004.html
 
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  • #5
As far as I know there are two possibilites, and probably a combination of both leads to the generation of magnetic fields in galaxies. The first one assumes that the origin of galatic magnetic fields are primordial magnetic fields in the universe before galaxy formation. The collapse and compression of baryons would have compressed the line fields also, increasing the field strength (it is assumed that the field lines are ‘frozen’ and bound to the barionic gas). The second one is the theory of the galactic dynamo and assumes that the magnetic fields are generated due to turbulent motions which amplify in a preferred direction. As far as I know the first option alone leads to magnetic fields which are too strong compared with observations, and the second option alone leads to magnetic fields which are too weak in newborn galaxies, compared with observations.
 
  • #6
Thanks Lab guy, lots of lovely reading, should keep me busy for a while.
thanks also Hellfire.
 

Related to Magnetic fields and inter stella medium

1. What is a magnetic field?

A magnetic field is an invisible force that surrounds a magnet or an electric current. It is created by the movement of electrically charged particles and has both a direction and a strength.

2. How are magnetic fields related to the interstellar medium?

The interstellar medium is a vast expanse of gas and dust that exists between stars. Magnetic fields play a crucial role in shaping and controlling the dynamics of this medium, influencing the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.

3. How do scientists study magnetic fields in the interstellar medium?

Scientists use a variety of techniques to study magnetic fields in the interstellar medium. These include radio and optical observations, as well as computer simulations and theoretical models.

4. What is the importance of understanding magnetic fields in the interstellar medium?

Understanding magnetic fields in the interstellar medium is crucial for understanding many astrophysical processes, such as star formation, the dynamics of galactic disks, and the formation of cosmic rays. It also helps us better understand the origins and evolution of our universe.

5. Can we harness the power of magnetic fields in the interstellar medium?

While we cannot directly harness the power of magnetic fields in the interstellar medium, understanding them can help us develop new technologies and advancements in areas such as space propulsion and energy production. Additionally, studying magnetic fields in the interstellar medium can also provide insight into the magnetic fields on Earth and their effects on our environment.

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