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    A possible solution of the grain boundary problem for applications of high-Tc superconductors

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    It is shown that the critical current density of high-Tc wires can be greatly enhanced by using a threefold approach, which consists of grain alignment, doping, and optimization of the grain architecture. According to model calculations, current densities of 4x10^6 A/cm2 can be achieved for an average grain alignment of 10 degree at 77K. Based on this approach, a road to competitive high-Tc cables is proposed.Comment: 3 pages, 5 figure

    Observational Constraints on Interstellar Grain Alignment

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    We present new multicolor photo-polarimetry of stars behind the Southern Coalsack. Analyzed together with multiband polarization data from the literature, probing the Chamaeleon I, Musca, rho Opiuchus, R CrA and Taurus clouds, we show that the wavelength of maximum polarization (lambda_max) is linearly correlated with the radiation environment of the grains. Using Far-Infrared emission data, we show that the large scatter seen in previous studies of lambda_max as a function of A_V is primarily due to line of sight effects causing some A_V measurements to not be a good tracer of the extinction (radiation field strength) seen by the grains being probed. The derived slopes in lambda_max vs. A_V, for the individual clouds, are consistent with a common value, while the zero intercepts scale with the average values of the ratios of total-to-selective extinction (R_V) for the individual clouds. Within each cloud we do not find direct correlations between lambda_max and R_V. The positive slope in consistent with recent developments in theory and indicating alignment driven by the radiation field. The present data cannot conclusively differentiate between direct radiative torques and alignment driven by H_2 formation. However, the small values of lambda_max(A_V=0), seen in several clouds, suggest a role for the latter, at least at the cloud surfaces. The scatter in the lambda_max vs. A_V relation is found to be associated with the characteristics of the embedded Young Stellar Objects (YSO) in the clouds. We propose that this is partially due to locally increased plasma damping of the grain rotation caused by X-rays from the YSOs.Comment: Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    Grain alignment by ferromagnetic impurities

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    The observed wavelength dependence of linear polarization, and its variation from region to region can be explained by the following assumptions. Interstellar grains resemble interplanetary grains, in that they are composed of collections of small particles coagulated together into elongated masses. A fraction of the small particles are ferromagnetic. Presumably these are either metallic Fe or magnetite, Fe3O4. If and only if a large grain contains one or more magnetic particles is the grain aligned in the galactic magnetic field. The magnetic particles stick only to silicate grains because of chemical similarities, or (equivalently) any pure carbon grains in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) are too spherical to produce polarization. Grains in dense regions, such as the outer parts of molecular clouds, are larger than those in the diffuse ISM because of coagulation of the grains rather than accretion of icy mantles. These regions are known to have larger than normal values of lambda (max), the wavelength of the maximum of linear polarization. The above assumptions are sufficient to allow the calculation of the wavelength dependence of the polarization