This working group addresses the fundamental physics of cosmic magnetism.

Cosmic Magnetism Working Group Introduction

The Cosmic Magnetism Science Working Group is focused on defining the role of magnetic fields in the physical processes that determine the structure and evolution of the Universe. The SKA’s Rotation Measure Grid survey will establish the origin and evolution of magnetic fields throughout the cosmos.

Magnetic fields are a major agent of energetic processes in various cosmic objects, from star forming regions and stellar remnants, through galaxies, including our own Milky Way, to the large-scale structure of the Universe. Magnetism has long been recognized as a crucial element in these problems, but new technology is required to make the observational progress needed for a full understanding of how these processes unfold in practice.

Radio astronomy provides the most effective probes of cosmic magnetism. The SKA’s revolutionary capability promises to take our study of magnetic fields to a new level of precision, and expand our horizon to distant objects that are inaccessible in sufficient detail today. Specifically, its unrivalled sensitivity and resolving power, combined with wide frequency coverage, makes the SKA ideal for probing magnetism across the Universe through the study of polarized synchrotron emission and its Faraday rotation, and Zeeman splitting.

SWG Banner - Magnetism

Working Group Membership

Members of the the Magnetism Science Working group can be found here

We actively encourage interested researchers to participate in the working group.

Please contact the co-chairs if you are interested in joining the group, with a brief description of your area of research.

The current co-chairs are:

Guidelines on who can join the group can be found here

The SKAO Project Scientist liaison is Wendy Williams.

Magnetism Working Group Documentation

The presentations from the Science Assessment Workshop can be found here

The Magnetism presentations from the 2014 SKA Science Meeting can be found here

The Magnetism banner is here

Related 2015 “Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array” Chapters

  • See appropriate section here

Related 2004 “Science with the Square Kilometre Array” Chapters

  • “The origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism” Gaensler et al.
  • “Magnetic fields in clusters of galaxies” Feretti & Johnston-Hollitt
  • “Diffuse radio emission from the intracluster medium” Feretti et al.

Previous Chairs

  • George Heald (2017-2022)
  • Ann Mao (2017-2019)
  • Russ Taylor (2015-2017)
  • Melanie Johnston-Hollitt (2013-2016)
  • Federica Govoni (2013-2015)
Last modified on 26 October 2023