Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Troland

Abstract

This document consists of two very different projects but the common thread is in the interest of magnetic fields. It describes the effect of magnetic fields in two Interstellar Medium regions in the Galaxy. Electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental forces in physics. It is not known where magnetic field has initially risen in the Universe, but what is certain is that it has significant effect in the dynamics of star formation and galaxy formation. The studies aim to better understand the effects of field in an active star forming region and in the halo of the Galaxy. We observed the HI 21 cm spectral line via the Zeeman effect in attempt to detect line-of-sight magnetic field strengths in both of the projects. For the star forming region project in Chapter 2, towards the Eagle Nebula, an upper limit of the field strength was determined. From the observational results, physical conditions of the region were modeled. For the second project in Chapter 3, we attempted to detect magnetic fields via Zeeman effect towards non galactic disk objects. All of the observed positions have radial velocities that cannot be explained by the simple galactic rotation. Hence, they are considered to be non galactic disk sources and often grouped as High Velocity Clouds. With a unique observational technique and analysis, we derived the best fit line-of-sight magnetic fields. A particular interest to us is the Smith Cloud. From the detection of magnetic field, we attempted to estimate the density of the ambient medium in the halo, which will be useful for studying the galaxy formation.

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