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Thomas Troland

Research Interests:
Astronomy & Astrophysics

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley (1980)
M.A., Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley (1974)
B.A., Physics, Amherst College (1970)


Most of the visible matter in the universe is in the form of stars. Therefore, star formation is one of the most important processes in the universe, a process that continues into the present epoch. The basic nature of star formation, gravitational collapse of interstellar clouds, has been understood for at least a century. More recently, astronomers have realized that weak interstellar magnetic fields can strongly influence these events. My research makes use of radio astronomy techniques to measure interstellar magnetic field strengths. I use the radio frequency Zeeman effect to measure field strenghts in regions of the galaxy where star formation actively occurs. I observe with a variety of radio telescope facilities, including the Very Large Array, the Arecibo Telescope and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Results to date confirm that magnetic fields are strong enough to significantly influence events in star-forming regions. Future research will attempt to better define these influences and provide closer connections with theoretical models.

Graduate Students

  • Amber McKey
Selected Publications:

NASA Astrophysics Data System

  • "VLA OH and HI Zeeman Observations of the NGC 6334 Complex", A. P. Sarma, T. H. Troland, D. A. Roberts R. M. Crutcher, ApJ (submitted September 1999).
  • "The Magnetic Field in the NGC 2024 Molecular Cloud", R. M. Crutcher, D. A. Roberts, T. H. Troland, and W. M. Goss, ApJ, 515, 275 (1999).
  • "Detection of Magnetic Fields Toward M17 Through the HI Zeeman Effect", C. L. Brogan, T. H. Troland, D. A. Roberts, and R. M. Crutcher, ApJ, 515, 304 (1999).
  • "Detection of CN Zeeman Effects in Molecular Clouds", R. M. Crutcher, T. H. Troland, B. Lazareff, G. Paubert, and I. Kazes, ApJ, 514, 121 (1999).
  • "The Magnetic Field in the Ophiuchus and Taurus Molecular Clouds", T. H. Troland, R. M. Crutcher, A. A. Goodman, C. Heiles, I. Kazes, and P. C. Myers, ApJ, 471, 302 (1996).