IAU Focus Meeting FM4:
Magnetic fields along the star-formation sequence

August 30 – 31, 2018



  • Silvia Alencar, UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Andrea Bracco, CEA/IRFU Astrophysics department, Saclay, France
  • Edith Falgarone, ENS, Paris, France
  • Josep Miquel Girart, IEEC, CSIC, Bellaterra, Spain
  • Martin Houde, Western University, London, Canada
  • Swetlana Hubrig, Leibniz-Institut fuer Astrophysik Potsdam, Germany (co-chair)
  • Chat Hull, NAOJ Chile Observatory, Japan (co-chair)
  • Jungmi Kwon, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Anaëlle Maury, CEA/IRFU Astrophysics department, Saclay, France (co-chair)
  • Hiro Takami, ASIAA, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Helmut Wiesemeyer, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany
  • Qizhou Zhang, Harvard Smithsonian CfA, Cambridge, USA

Scientific Rationale:

It is believed that magnetic fields play important roles in star formation processes, in particular to overcome both the angular momentum and magnetic flux problems. Polarimetry from the optical to the centimeter wavelengths has been the most powerful observing technique to study magnetic fields: in this Focus Meeting we wish to bring together communities working with polarimetric observations of the various stages and objects along the star formation sequence, from the structure of star-forming molecular clouds to the arrival of young stars on the zero-age main sequence. The goal is to discuss how to compare observations of magnetic fields at different evolutionary stages and physical scales such that we can establish a coherent view of their key role in the multi-scale process of star formation. Combining results from different fields is complex, and thus we will emphasize how different measurements of the magnetic fields can be compared and interpreted into a coherent picture despite widely varying observing techniques, and the very different objects and physical scales that are probed.



  • Polarimetric observations as a tracer of the magnetic fields across the scales and physical environments relevant to the star formation sequence
  • Observations of magnetic fields in filaments, star-forming cores, and protostars: polarized (sub-)millimeter emission from dust and molecules
  • Polarization of protoplanetary disks and young stars from polarized infrared emission, scattered light, and spectropolarimetry
  • Testing solutions to the angular momentum problem and magnetic flux problem in star formation thanks to observations of magnetic and velocity fields
  • New statistical tools and MHD models diagnostics to infer magnetic-field strengths and topologies from polarization data

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