A quantum-chemical study to the magnetic characteristics of methanol and its applications in astronomy
Licentiate thesis, 2018

Magnetic fields play an important role during star formation. Direct magnetic field strength observations have proven specifically challenging in the dynamic protostellar phase. Because of their occurrence in the densest parts of star forming regions, masers, through polarization observations, are the main source of magnetic field strength and morphology measurements around protostars. Of all maser species, methanol is one of the strongest and most abundant tracers of gas around high-mass protostellar disks and in outflows. However, because experimental determination of the magnetic character- istics of methanol has remained unsuccessful, a magnetic field strength analysis of these regions could hitherto not be performed. In this thesis, we present quantum-chemical calculations of the magnetic characteristics of methanol. We present the parameters characterizing the internal magnetic interactions: the hyperfine structure, as well as the parameters characterizing the interaction of methanol with an external magnetic field. We use these parameters in re-analyzing methanol maser polarization observa- tions. With these calculations, we can confirm the presence of dynamically important magnetic fields around protostars.

methanol

maser polarization

star formation

magnetic fields

masers

EB-lecture hall, EDIT-building, Hörsalsvägen 11
Opponent: Martin Rahm, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Author

Boy Lankhaar

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics, Galactic Astrophysics

Characterization of methanol as a magnetic field tracer in star-forming regions

Nature Astronomy,; Vol. 2(2018)p. 145-150

Journal article

Hyperfine interactions and internal rotation in methanol

Journal of Chemical Physics,; Vol. 145(2016)p. 244301-

Journal article

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Theoretical Chemistry

Roots

Basic sciences

Infrastructure

Onsala Space Observatory

Publisher

Chalmers University of Technology

EB-lecture hall, EDIT-building, Hörsalsvägen 11

Opponent: Martin Rahm, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

More information

Latest update

5/4/2018 1