• Hard X-ray polarimetry—an overview of the method, science drivers, and recent findings

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    • Keywords


      Hard X-ray polarimetry; scattering polarimetry; black holes; neutron stars; gamma-ray bursts; AstroSat, POLAR; PoGO$+$.

    • Abstract


      The last decade has seen a leapfrog in the interest of X-ray polarimetry with a number of new polarization measurements in hard X-rays from AstroSat, POLAR, GAP, and PoGO$+$. The measurements provide some interesting insights into various astrophysical phenomena such as coronal geometry and disk–jet connection in black hole X-ray binaries, hard X-ray emission mechanism in pulsars, and gamma-ray bursts. They also highlight an increase in polarization with energy, which makes hard X-ray polarimetry extremely appealing. There are a number of confirmed hard X-ray polarimetry experiments which along with the existing instruments (AstroSat and INTEGRAL) make this field further exciting. Polarization experiments may also see significant progress in sensitivity with new developments in scintillator readouts, active pixel sensors, and cadmium zinc telluride detectors. In particular, the advent of hard X-ray focusing optics willenable the designing of compact focal plane polarimeters with a multifold enhancement in sensitivity. In this review, we will focus on the recent polarimetry findings and science potential of hard X-ray polarimetry along with possible improvements in the measurement techniques.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Cosmology, 452 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
    • Dates

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

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