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Taiwan-Russia Workshop on Polarization by Dust Grains
October 17, 2018
ASIAA R1107, AS/NTU Astronomy-Mathematics Building

Oral Presentation

Measuring circumstellar dust with optical/IR polarimetry

Author(s): Peter Scicluna (ASIAA)

Presenter: Peter Scicluna (ASIAA)

One of the most important properties of astrophysical dust to understand is the distribution of grain sizes. For interstellar dust, this can be constrained from the extinction polarisation curves. However, for circumstellar dust this is rarely possible, and we must therefore turn to the properties of scattered light, particularly the wavelength dependence of polarisation, to infer grain sizes. Thanks to the new generation of exoplanet-hunting instruments, we now have access to a wealth of data for such studies, but lack the tools to successfully interpret them. Using the example of oxygen-rich evolved stars, where grains are required to be in a specific, narrow range of sizes to be able to produce a dust-driven wind, I will demonstrate ways in which grains sizes can be determined from these data. I will then review some caveats, open problems and the tools required to overcome them.

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