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Proceedings Paper

RINGO3: a multi-colour fast response polarimeter
Author(s): D. M. Arnold; I. A. Steele; S. D. Bates; C. J. Mottram; R. J. Smith
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Paper Abstract

GRB jets contain rapidly moving electrons which will spiral around magnetic field lines. This causes them to emit polarized synchrotron emission. We have built a series of polarimeters (RINGO and RINGO2) to investigate this by measuring the polarization of optical light from GRBs at a certain single wavelength. The instruments are mounted on the Liverpool Telescope, which is a fully robotic (i.e. unmanned) telescope on La Palma which reacts to triggers from satellites such as the NASA SWIFT mission. This has had great success, with the first ever detections of early time optical polarization being made. In addition, the first measurements of the change in optical polarization from a GRB as the jet expands have recently been obtained. In this paper we describe the design and construction of RINGO3. This will be a multi-colour instrument that can observe simultaneously at three wavelengths. By doing so we will be able to unambiguously identify where in the burst the polarized emission is coming from. This will allow us to distinguish between three possibilities: (1) Magnetic instabilities generated in the shock front, (2) Line of sight effects and (3) Large-scale magnetic fields present throughout the relativistic outflow. The instrument design combines a rapidly rotating polaroid, specially designed polarization insensitive dichroic mirrors and three electron multiplying CCD cameras to provide simultaneous wavelength coverage with a time resolution of 1 second.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84462J (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927000
Show Author Affiliations
D. M. Arnold, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
I. A. Steele, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
S. D. Bates, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
C. J. Mottram, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. J. Smith, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8446:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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