Magnetic fields in the intercluster medium have been measured using a variety of techniques, including studies of synchrotron relic and halo radio sources within clusters, studies of inverse Compton X-ray emission from clusters, surveys of Faraday rotation measures of polarized radio sources both within and behind clusters, and studies of cluster cold fronts in X-ray images. These measurements imply that most cluster atmospheres are substantially magnetized, with typical field strengths of order 1 μGauss with high areal filling factors out to Mpc radii. There is likely to be considerable variation in field strengths and topologies both within and between clusters, especially when comparing dynamically relaxed clusters to those that have recently undergone a merger. In some locations, such as the cores of cooling flow clusters, the magnetic fields reach levels of 10–40 μG and may be dynamically important. In all clusters the magnetic fields have a significant effect on energy transport in the intracluster medium. We also review current theories on the origin of cluster magnetic fields.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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