Monday, May 2, 2011

Cosmic magnetic fields

Cosmic magnetic fields: •Optical light is partly polarised by the presence of dust grains which are drawn into a particular orientation by a magnetic field and then only let through light in a certain plane.
•At a larger scale, Faraday rotation comes into play, where the plane of already polarised light is rotated in the presence of a magnetic field.
•There’s also Zeeman splitting, where spectral lines – which normally identify the presence of elements such as hydrogen – may become split in light that has passed through a magnetic field.

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