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Paper: Alignment of Interstellar Dust
Volume: 309, Astrophysics of Dust
Page: 467
Authors: Roberge, W.G.
Abstract: Interstellar polarization is known to be caused by elongated dust grains aligned with respect to the Galactic magnetic field. However the physics of the alignment mechanism has proven remarkably difficult to understand. Two processes are required: the "internal alignment" of a grain's axes with respect to its angular momentum, and the alignment of the angular momentum with the ambient magnetic field. I argue that the physics of internal alignment is now well established by a number of theoretical advances made over the past decade. Angular momentum alignment remains less well understood, but mounting evidence favors alignment by radiative torques on asymmetrical grains.
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