Probing magnetars magnetosphere through X-ray polarization measurements

Дата и время публикации : 2013-11-29T09:45:43Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Roberto Taverna
Fabio Muleri
Roberto Turolla
Paolo Soffitta
Sergio Fabiani
Luciano Nobili

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 12 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Первичная категория: astro-ph.HE

Все категории : astro-ph.HE

Краткий обзор статьи: The study of magnetars is of particular relevance since these objects are the only laboratories where the physics in ultra-strong magnetic fields can be directly tested. Until now, spectroscopic and timing measurements at X-ray energies in soft gamma-repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsar (AXPs) have been the main source of information about the physical properties of a magnetar and of its magnetosphere. Spectral fitting in the ~ 0.5-10 keV range allowed to validate the "twisted magnetosphere" model, probing the structure of the external field and estimating the density and velocity of the magnetospheric currents. Spectroscopy alone, however, may fail in disambiguating the two key parameters governing magnetospheric scattering (the charge velocity and the twist angle) and is quite insensitive to the source geometry. X-ray polarimetry, on the other hand, can provide a quantum leap in the field by adding two extra observables, the linear polarization degree and the polarization angle. Using the bright AXP 1RXS J170849.0-400910 as a template, we show that phase-resolved polarimetric measurements can unambiguously determine the model parameters, even with a small X-ray polarimetry mission carrying modern photoelectric detectors and existing X-ray optics. We also show that polarimetric measurements can pinpoint vacuum polarization effects and thus provide an indirect evidence for ultra-strong magnetic fields.

Category: Physics