Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Astrophysics

Advisor

Brittain, Sean

Committee Member

King , Jeremy

Committee Member

Meyer , Bradley

Abstract

The question of the mechanism of certain types of stars is important. Classical T Tauri (CTTS) stars accrete magnetospherically, and Herbig Ae/Be stars (higher-mass analogs to CTTS) are thought to also accrete magnetospherically, but the source of a kG magnetic field is unknown, since these stars have radiative interiors. For magnetospheric accretion, an equation has been derived (Hartmann, 2001) which relates the truncation radius, stellar radius, stellar mass, mass accretion rate and magnetic field strength.
Currently the magnetic field of Herbig stars is known to be somewhere between 0.1 kG and 10 kG. One goal of this research is to further constrain the magnetic field. In order to do that, I use the magnetospheric accretion equation. For CTTS, all of the variables used in the equation can be measured, so I gather this data from the literature and test the equation and find that it is consistent. Then I apply the equation to Herbig Ae stars and find that the error introduced from using random inclinations is too large to lower the current upper limit of the magnetic field range. If Herbig Ae stars are higher-mass analogs to CTTS, then they should have a similar magnetic field distribution. I compare the calculated Herbig Ae magnetic field distribution to several typical magnetic field distributions using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and find that the data distribution does not match any of the distributions used. This means that Herbig Ae stars do not have well ordered kG fields like CTTS.

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