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Title: Two Modes of Carbonaceous Dust Alignment
Abstract Radiative torques (RATs) or mechanical torques acting on irregular grains can induce the alignment of dust grains in respect to the alignment axis (AA), which can be either the direction of the magnetic field or the direction of the radiation. We show that carbonaceous grains can be aligned with their axes both parallel and perpendicular to the AA, and we explore the conditions where the particular mode of alignment takes place. We identify a new process of alignment of charged carbonaceous grains in a turbulent, magnetized interstellar medium with respect to an electric field. This field acts on grains accelerated in a turbulent medium and gyrorotating about a magnetic field. The electric field can also arise from the temporal variations of the magnetic field strength in turbulent, compressible media. The direction of the electric field is perpendicular to the magnetic field, and the carbonaceous grains precess in the electric field because of their electric moments. If this precession is faster than Larmor precession in the magnetic field, the alignment of such grains is with their long axes parallel to the magnetic field. We explore the parameter space for which the new mechanism aligns grains with long axes parallel to more » the magnetic field. We compare this mechanism with another process that provides the same type of alignment, namely, the RAT alignment of grains with insufficiently fast internal relaxation. We describe the conditions for which the particular mode of carbonaceous grain alignment is realized and discuss what information can be obtained by measuring the resulting polarization. « less
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The Astrophysical Journal
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National Science Foundation
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