The X-ray Polarization Signature of Quiescent Magnetars
The properties of Anomalous X-ray Pulsars and Soft-Gamma Repeaters have so far been best accounted for by the magnetar model, which hypothesizes them as strongly magnetized neutron stars. Despite this success, many open issues remain, among them a theoretical understanding of the magnetospheric physics. The polarization of soft X-ray photons encodes independent information about these systems, and the magnetar model makes very definite predictions about the form of this signal if certain conditions in the magnetosphere are met. I'll describe how the polarization signal is generated and discuss prospects for its detection with NASA's upcoming Gravity and Extreme Magnetism (GEMS) mission.
Date: Tuesday, 4 October 2011 Time: 16:00 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) Contact: Robert Rutledge