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Cosmological Magnetic Fields: Their Generation, Evolution and Observation

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      Abstract

      We review the possible mechanisms for the generation of cosmological magnetic fields, discuss their evolution in an expanding Universe filled with the cosmic plasma and provide a critical review of the literature on the subject. We put special emphasis on the prospects for observational tests of the proposed cosmological magnetogenesis scenarios using radio and gamma-ray astronomy and ultra high energy cosmic rays. We argue that primordial magnetic fields are observationally testable. They lead to magnetic fields in the intergalactic medium with magnetic field strength and correlation length in a well defined range. We also state the unsolved questions in this fascinating open problem of cosmology and propose future observations to address them.

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      End to the Cosmic-Ray Spectrum?

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        Extragalactic magnetic fields

         P Kronberg (1994)
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          Origin of Galactic and Extragalactic Magnetic Fields

          A variety of observations suggest that magnetic fields are present in all galaxies and galaxy clusters. These fields are characterized by a modest strength (10^{-7}-10^{-5} G) and huge spatial scale (~Mpc). It is generally assumed that magnetic fields in spiral galaxies arise from the combined action of differential rotation and helical turbulence, a process known as the alpha-omega dynamo. However fundamental questions concerning the nature of the dynamo as well as the origin of the seed fields necessary to prime it remain unclear. Moreover, the standard alpha-omega dynamo does not explain the existence of magnetic fields in elliptical galaxies and clusters. The author summarizes what is known observationally about magnetic fields in galaxies, clusters, superclusters, and beyond. He then reviews the standard dynamo paradigm, the challenges that have been leveled against it, and several alternative scenarios. He concludes with a discussion of astrophysical and early Universe candidates for seed fields.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            28 March 2013
            2013-05-07
            1303.7121
            10.1007/s00159-013-0062-7

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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            to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics Review
            astro-ph.CO astro-ph.HE

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