ARlogo Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2004. 42: 275-316
Copyright © 2004 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

Reprinted with kind permission from Annual Reviews, 4139 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, California, USA

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John Scalo

Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712

Bruce G. Elmegreen

IBM Research Division, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598

Abstract. Interstellar turbulence has implications for the dispersal and mixing of the elements, cloud chemistry, cosmic ray scattering, and radio wave propagation through the ionized medium. This review discusses the observations and theory of these effects. Metallicity fluctuations are summarized, and the theory of turbulent transport of passive tracers is reviewed. Modeling methods, turbulent concentration of dust grains, and the turbulent washout of radial abundance gradients are discussed. Interstellar chemistry is affected by turbulent transport of various species between environments with different physical properties and by turbulent heating in shocks, vortical dissipation regions, and local regions of enhanced ambipolar diffusion. Cosmic rays are scattered and accelerated in turbulent magnetic waves and shocks, and they generate turbulence on the scale of their gyroradii. Radio wave scintillation is an important diagnostic for small scale turbulence in the ionized medium, giving information about the power spectrum and amplitude of fluctuations. The theory of diffraction and refraction is reviewed, as are the main observations and scintillation regions.

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