Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 462697, 13 pages
Review Article

Spinning Dust Radiation: A Review of the Theory

Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA

Received 29 August 2012; Accepted 8 November 2012

Academic Editor: Laurent Verstraete

Copyright © 2013 Yacine Ali-Haïmoud. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reviews the current status of theoretical modeling of electric dipole radiation from spinning dust grains. The fundamentally simple problem of dust grain rotation appeals to a rich set of concepts of classical and quantum physics, owing to the diversity of processes involved. Rotational excitation and damping rates through various mechanisms are discussed, as well as methods of computing the grain angular momentum distribution function. Assumptions on grain properties are reviewed. The robustness of theoretical predictions now seems mostly limited by the uncertainties regarding the grains themselves, namely, their abundance, dipole moments, and size and shape distribution.