New Insights into the Role and Importance of Interstellar Nanoparticles

Monday, April 17, 2017 - 1:30pm PDT
Thiem Hoang
Korea Astronomy and Space Physics Institute
N232, room 103
Event Type: 

Interstellar nanoparticles, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are believed to play an important role in modern astrophysics. Mid-infrared emission from PAHs is widely used as a tracer of star formation activity. PAHs is also thought to be a leading carrier behind the long-standing mystery of Diffuse Interstellar Bands.  In this talk, I will discuss new insights into the crucial importance of interstellar nanoparticles. I will start with a review on anomalous microwave emission (AME) by rapidly spinning nanoparticles and the AME polarization, which is a critical challenge for constraining cosmic inflation via B-modes in cosmic microwave background polarization. I will then present a new model of polarized emission from PAHs and discuss important implications for understanding basic physics of nanoparticle alignment and for a potential new way of tracing magnetic fields via mid-IR polarimetry. Finally, I will discuss future perspectives to study interstellar nanoparticles through multiwavelength observations with ALMA Band 1 and Square Kilometer Array.

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