The Sun's General Magnetic Field


SOME of the recent theoretical discussions of the magnetic field of the Sun have tended to throw the subject into a state of confusion1–3. In particular, H. Alfvén3 asserts that “… it is at present impossible to derive a value of the sun's general magnetic field from spectroscopic measurements”, and that “quite without justification it is assumed that Zeeman-effect measurements give an accurate value of the solar magnetic field”.

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  1. 1

    Alfvén, H., Arkiv för Fysik, 4, No. 24 (1952).

  2. 2

    Alfvén, H., Nature, 168, 1036 (1936).

  3. 3

    Alfvén, H., Tellus, 8, No. 1, 1 (1956).

  4. 4

    Babcock, H. W., and Babcock, H. D., Astrophys. J., 121, 349 (1955).

  5. 5

    Hale, G. E., Astrophys. J., 49, 153 (1919); Nature, 113, 105 (1924).

  6. 6

    Cowling, T. G., “The Sun”, 575, edit. by G. P. Kuiper (Univ. Chicago Press, 1953).

  7. 7

    Babcock, H. W., Astrophys. J., 118, 387 (1953).

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