【摘要】The magnetic field of the Milky Way is a significant component of our Galaxy, and impacts a great variety of Galactic processes. For example, it regulates star formation, accelerates cosmic rays, transports energy and momentum, acts as a source of pressure, and obfuscates the arrival directions of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). This thesis is mainly concerned with the large scale Galactic magnetic field (GMF), and the effect it has on UHECRs.;In Chapter 1 we review what is known about Galactic and extragalactic magnetic fields, their origin, the different observables of the GMF, and the ancillary data that is necessary to constrain astrophysical magnetic fields.;Chapter 2 introduces a method to quantify the quality-of-fit between data and observables sensitive to the large scale Galactic magnetic field. We combine WMAP5 polarized synchrotron data and rotation measures of extragalactic sources in a joint analysis to obtain best-fit parameters and confidence levels for GMF models common in the literature. None of the existing models provide a good fit in both the disk and halo regions, and in many instances best-fit parameters are quite different than the original values. We introduce a simple model of the magnetic field in the halo that provides a much improved fit to the data. We show that some characteristics of the electron densities can already be constrained using our method and with future data it may be possible to carry out a self-consistent analysis in which models of the GMF and electron densities are simultaneously optimized.;Chapter 3 investigates the observed excess of UHECRs in the region of the sky close to the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A. We constrain the large-scale Galactic magnetic field and the small-scale random magnetic field in the direction of Cen A, and estimate the deflection of the observed UHECRs and predict their source positions on the sky. We find that the deflection due to random fields are small compared to deflections due to the regular field. Assuming the UHECRs are protons we find that 4 of the published Auger events above 57 EeV are consistent with coming from Cen A.We conclude that the proposed scenarios in which most of the events within approximately 20° of Cen A come from it are unlikely, regardless of the composition of the UHECRs.
【作者单位】New York University.;
【授予单位】New York University.;
【学科】Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.