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  1. Abstract We present 870 μ m Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array polarization observations of thermal dust emission from the iconic, edge-on debris disk β Pic. While the spatially resolved map does not exhibit detectable polarized dust emission, we detect polarization at the ∼3 σ level when averaging the emission across the entire disk. The corresponding polarization fraction is P frac = 0.51% ± 0.19%. The polarization position angle χ is aligned with the minor axis of the disk, as expected from models of dust grains aligned via radiative alignment torques (RAT) with respect to a toroidal magnetic field ( B -RAT)more »or with respect to the anisotropy in the radiation field ( k -RAT). When averaging the polarized emission across the outer versus inner thirds of the disk, we find that the polarization arises primarily from the SW third. We perform synthetic observations assuming grain alignment via both k -RAT and B -RAT. Both models produce polarization fractions close to our observed value when the emission is averaged across the entire disk. When we average the models in the inner versus outer thirds of the disk, we find that k -RAT is the likely mechanism producing the polarized emission in β Pic. A comparison of timescales relevant to grain alignment also yields the same conclusion. For dust grains with realistic aspect ratios (i.e., s > 1.1), our models imply low grain-alignment efficiencies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT A number of young circumstellar discs show strikingly ordered (sub)millimetre polarization orientations along the minor axis, which is strong evidence for polarization due to scattering by ∼0.1 mm-sized grains. To test this mechanism further, we model the ALMA dust continuum and polarization data of HD 163296 using radmc-3d. We find that scattering by grains with a maximum size of 90  μm simultaneously reproduces the polarization observed at Band 7 and the unusually low spectral index (α ∼ 1.5) between Bands 7 and 6 in the optically thick inner disc as a result of more efficient scattering at the shorter wavelength.more »The low spectral index of ∼2.5 inferred for the optically thin gaps is reproduced by the same grains, as a result of telescope beam averaging of the gaps (with an intrinsic α ∼ 4) and their adjacent optically thick rings (where α ≲ 2). The tension between the grain sizes inferred from polarization and spectral index disappears because the low α values do not require large mm-sized grains. In addition, the polarization fraction has a unique azimuthal variation: higher along the major axis than the minor axis in the gaps, but vice versa in the rings. We find a rapidly declining polarization spectrum (with p ∝ λ−3 approximately) in the gaps, which becomes flattened or even inverted towards short wavelengths in the optically thick rings. These contrasting behaviours in the rings and gaps provide further tests for scattering-induced polarization via resolved multiwavelength observations.« less
  3. Abstract

    We characterize the accuracy of linear-polarization mosaics made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). First, we observed the bright, highly linearly polarized blazar 3C 279 at Bands 3, 5, 6, and 7 (3 mm, 1.6 mm, 1.3 mm, and 0.87 mm, respectively). At each band, we measured the blazar’s polarization on an 11 × 11 grid of evenly spaced offset pointings covering the full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) area of the primary beam. After applying calibration solutions derived from the on-axis pointing of 3C 279 to all of the on- and off-axis data, we find that the residual polarization errors across the primarymore »beam are similar at all frequencies: the residual errors in linear polarization fractionPfracand polarization position angleχare ≲0.001 (≲0.1% of StokesI) and ≲ 1° near the center of the primary beam; the errors increase to ∼0.003–0.005 (∼0.3%–0.5% of StokesI) and ∼1°–5° near the FWHM as a result of the asymmetric beam patterns in the (linearly polarized)QandUmaps. We see the expected double-lobed “beam squint” pattern in the circular polarization (StokesV) maps. Second, to test the polarization accuracy in a typical ALMA project, we performed observations of continuum linear polarization toward the Kleinmann–Low nebula in Orion (Orion-KL) using several mosaic patterns at Bands 3 and 6. We show that after mosaicking, the residual off-axis errors decrease as a result of overlapping multiple pointings. Finally, we compare the ALMA mosaics with an archival 1.3 mm Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy polarization mosaic of Orion-KL and find good consistency in the polarization patterns.

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  4. Abstract We have obtained sensitive dust continuum polarization observations at 850 μ m in the B213 region of Taurus using POL-2 on SCUBA-2 at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope as part of the B -fields in STar-forming Region Observations (BISTRO) survey. These observations allow us to probe magnetic field ( B -field) at high spatial resolution (∼2000 au or ∼0.01 pc at 140 pc) in two protostellar cores (K04166 and K04169) and one prestellar core (Miz-8b) that lie within the B213 filament. Using the Davis–Chandrasekhar–Fermi method, we estimate the B -field strengths in K04166, K04169, and Miz-8b to be 38more »± 14, 44 ± 16, and 12 ± 5 μ G, respectively. These cores show distinct mean B -field orientations. The B -field in K04166 is well ordered and aligned parallel to the orientations of the core minor axis, outflows, core rotation axis, and large-scale uniform B -field, in accordance with magnetically regulated star formation via ambipolar diffusion taking place in K04166. The B -field in K04169 is found to be ordered but oriented nearly perpendicular to the core minor axis and large-scale B -field and not well correlated with other axes. In contrast, Miz-8b exhibits a disordered B -field that shows no preferred alignment with the core minor axis or large-scale field. We found that only one core, K04166, retains a memory of the large-scale uniform B -field. The other two cores, K04169 and Miz-8b, are decoupled from the large-scale field. Such a complex B -field configuration could be caused by gas inflow onto the filament, even in the presence of a substantial magnetic flux.« less