Resonance paramagnetic relaxation and alignmentof amall grains

A. Lazarian, B. T. Draine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We show that the energy-level splitting that arises from grain rotation ensures that paramagnetic dissipation acts at its maximum rate, i.e., the conditions for paramagnetic resonance are automatically fulfilled. We refer to this process as "resonance relaxation." The differences between the predictions of classical Davis-Greenstein relaxation and resonance relaxation are most pronounced for grains rotating faster than 1 GHz, i.e., in the domain in which classical paramagnetic relaxation is suppressed. This mechanism can partially align even very small grains, resulting in linearly polarized microwave emission that could interfere with efforts to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L15-L18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Jun 10 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Atomic processes
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Dust, extinction
  • Polarization


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