skip to main content


Title: High-Energy Polarization: Scientific Potential and Model Predictions

Understanding magnetic field strength and morphology is very important for studying astrophysical jets. Polarization signatures have been a standard way to probe the jet magnetic field. Radio and optical polarization monitoring programs have been very successful in studying the space- and time-dependent jet polarization behaviors. A new era is now arriving with high-energy polarimetry. X-ray and γ-ray polarimetry can probe the most active jet regions with the most efficient particle acceleration. This new opportunity will make a strong impact on our current understanding of jet systems. Here, this article summarizes the scientific potential and current model predictions for X-ray and γ-ray polarization of astrophysical jets. In particular, we discuss the advantages of using high-energy polarimetry to constrain several important problems in the jet physics, including the jet radiation mechanisms, particle acceleration mechanisms, and jet kinetic and magnetic energy composition. Here we take blazars as a study case, but the general approach can be similarly applied to other astrophysical jets. We conclude that by comparing combined magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), particle transport, and polarization-dependent radiation transfer simulations with multi-wavelength time-dependent radiation and polarization observations, we will obtain the strongest constraints and the best knowledge of jet physics.
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2075-4434
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; 730562
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2075-4434
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; European Union (EU)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astronomy and Astrophysics; active galaxies; blazars; gamma-ray bursts; radiation mechanisms; polarization; magnetohydrodynamics; particle acceleration
OSTI Identifier: