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Astronomy Colloquium
Measuring Magnetic Fields Near and Far via the Zeeman Effect
Date: Thursday, February 6th
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Tim Robishaw, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory
Abstract: The Zeeman effect is the only observational tool that allows us to directly measure the magnetic field strength and direction in the interstellar medium. We provide an overview of ongoing projects in which we are using the Zeeman splitting of the 21-cm line and the 18-cm hydroxyl (OH) transitions in order to probe astrophysical magnetic fields. We will highlight the first detection of extragalactic Zeeman splitting in the OH<br>
megamaser emission from starburst galaxies. Results will be shown from a southern survey of Zeeman splitting in OH masers in our Milky Way's spiral arms that suggest field reversals relative to the field directions probed by Faraday rotation. We will also discuss previous measurements of the Zeeman effect in Galactic 21-cm radio emission, some of the instrumental challenges involved in such measurements, and plans for a large-scale<br>
survey underway on the 64-m Parkes telescope and the 26-m John A. Galt Telescope at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.
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