The star-formation process is an outstanding and largely unsolved problem in astrophysics. The role of magnetic fields is unclear but is widely considered to be important at all stages of protostellar evolution, from cloud collapse to ZAMS. For example, in some hydromagnetic models, the field may assist in removing angular momentum, thereby driving accretion and perhaps bipolar outflows.
Spectropolarimetry between 8 and 13μm provides information on the direction of the transverse component of a magnetic field through the alignment of dust grains. We present results of 8–13μm spectropolarimetric observations of a number of bipolar molecular outflow sources, and compare the field directions observed with the axes of the outflows and putative disk-like structures observed to be associated with some of the objects. There is a strong correlation, though so far with limited statistics, between the magnetic field and disk orientations. We compare our results with magnetic field configurations predicted by current models for hydromagnetically driven winds from the disks around Young Stellar Objects (YSOs). Our results appear to argue against the Pudritz and Norman model and instead seem to support the Uchida and Shibata model.