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Optical Engineering

Stellar X-Ray Polarimeter: a focal plane polarimeter for the Spectrum X-Gamma mission
Author(s): Philip E. Kaaret; Robert Novick; Christopher Martin; Ping-Shine Shaw; Thomas Hamilton; Rashid Sunyaev; Igor Y. Lapshov; Eric H. Silver; Martin C. Weisskopf; Ronald F. Elsner; Gary A. Chanan; Enrico Costa; Giuseppe Manzo; George W. Fraser; G. C. Perola
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Paper Abstract

n this paper we describe an x-ray polarimeter that will be flown on the Spectrum X-Gamma mission. The instrument exploits three distinct physical processes to measure polarization: Bragg reflection from a graphite crystal, Thomson scattering from a metallic lithium target, and pho-toemission from a cesium iodide photocathode. These three methods allow polarization measurements over an energy band from 0.3 to 12 keV. The polarimeter will make possible sensitive measurements of several hundred known x-ray sources, an increase of two orders of magnitude over the x-ray polarimeters flown to date. X-ray polarization measurements will allow us to constrain the geometry of gas flow in x-ray binaries, identify nonthermal emission in supernova remnants, test current models for x-ray emission in radio pulsars, determine the radiation mechanisms in active galactic nuclei, and search for inertial frame dragging (Lense-Thirring effect) around the putative black hole in Cygnus X-1.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 29(7) doi: 10.1117/12.55660
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 29, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
Philip E. Kaaret, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Robert Novick, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Christopher Martin, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Ping-Shine Shaw, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Thomas Hamilton, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Rashid Sunyaev, Space Research Institute (Russia)
Igor Y. Lapshov, Space Research Institute (Russia)
Eric H. Silver
Martin C. Weisskopf, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Ronald F. Elsner, NASA (United States)
Gary A. Chanan, Univ. of California/Irvine (United States)
Enrico Costa, Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale (Italy)
Giuseppe Manzo, Istituto di Fisica Cosmica ed Informatica (Italy)
George W. Fraser, Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
G. C. Perola, Univ. di Roma (Italy)


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