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Paper: Probing the Magnetic Field with Molecular Ion Spectra
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 265
Authors: Houde, M.; Phillips, T. G.; Vaillancourt, J. E.; Li, H.; Hildebrand, R. H.; Dowell, C. D.; Peng, R.; Yoshida, H.; Dotson, J. L.; Bastien, P.
Abstract: We summarize the work developed at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory concerning the study of magnetic fields in turbulent molecular clouds through the comparison of coexistent molecular ion and neutral species. We first discuss how the presence of magnetic fields was originally deduced observationally, in this context, through the relative narrowing of ion spectral line profiles, as well as the early interpretation of this phenomenon as a manifestation of ambipolar diffusion. We then move on to more recent work where the effect was analyzed through the comparison of the characteristics of the turbulent power spectra of coexistent ions and neutrals. We discuss how this new interpretation of the effect has led to the first observational determination of the ambipolar diffusion decoupling scale (in M17) and the introduction of the a novel method for measuring the strength of the plane-of-the-sky component of the magnetic field.
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