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Paper: Optical Polarization from Aligned Atoms as a New Diagnostic of Astrophysical Magnetic Fields
Volume: 343, Astronomical Polarimetry: Current Status and Future Directions
Page: 346
Authors: Yan, H.; Lazarian, A.
Abstract: Population of levels of the hyperfine split ground state of an atom is affected by radiative transitions induced by anisotropic radiation flux. Such aligned atoms precess in the external magnetic field and this affects properties of polarized radiation arising from both scattering and absorption by atoms. As a result, the degree of light polarization depends on the direction of the magnetic field. This provides a new tool for studies of astrophysical magnetic fields, e.g., magnetic fields in interplanetary medium, circumstellar regions and ISM.
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