Detection of magnetic helicity

Tina Kahniashvili, Tanmay Vachaspati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Magnetic fields in various astrophysical settings may be helical and, in the cosmological context, may provide a measure of primordial CP violation during baryogenesis. Yet it is difficult, even in principle, to devise a scheme by which magnetic helicity may be detected, except in some very special systems. We propose that charged cosmic rays originating from known sources may be useful for this purpose. We show that the correlator of the arrival momenta of the cosmic rays is sensitive to the helicity of an intervening magnetic field. If the sources themselves are not known, the method may still be useful provided we have some knowledge of their spatial distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063507
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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