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Physics  1996 

Optical and Magnetic Properties of Dust Grains

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The optical and magnetic properties of dust grains are reviewed, as they relate to the problem of interstellar grain alignment. Grain geometry plays an important role in determining the optical properties, and scattering and absorption of starlight will produce radiative torques which may drive grains to suprathermal rates of rotation in interstellar clouds; these radiative torques appear likely to play an active role in the alignment process. The likely magnetic properties of grains are discussed, with particular attention to the imaginary part of the magnetic susceptibility.


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