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Quantitative Polarimetry: from Star Formation to Cosmological Studies

We are entering a golden age of multiwavelength polarimetry with numerous CMB experiments (e.g., SPIDER, BICEP/Keck, LiteBIRD) hunting for primordial gravitational waves through B-mode polarization, and a dozen of big instruments designed to elucidate the roles of magnetic fields in star formation (e.g., SOFIA, SMA, ALMA, EVLA). The correct determination of B-mode signal, as well as solid understanding of magnetic fields in star formation, are only achieved when we have a quantitative treatment of dust polarization. In this talk, I will present first my results on quantifying the polarization spectrum of a newly discovered emission component, namely anomalous microwave emission. Second, I will review the quantitative, predictive theory of grain alignment based on radiative torques, and discuss ab-initio modeling of dust polarization that incorporates well-tested physics and comparisons with observational data.  Finally, I will discuss the unique potential of quantitative polarimetry in the next decade to elucidate the roles of magnetic fields in star and planet formation, and to reveal fundamental properties of magnetic turbulence and cosmic dust, through bridging solid theory, numerical simulations with observations.

Cody Hall

Thiem Hoang, CITA

May 13, 2016
14:00 - 15:00