Polarimetric observations of the innermost regions of relativistic jets in X-ray binaries

D. M. Russell, T. Shahbaz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Synchrotron emission from the relativistic jets launched close to black holes and neutron stars can be highly linearly polarized, depending on the configuration of the magnetic field. In X-ray binaries, optically thin synchrotron emission from the compact jets resides at infrared-optical wavelengths. The polarimetric signature of the jets is detected in the infrared and is highly variable in some X-ray binaries. This reveals the magnetic geometry in the compact jet, in a region close enough to the black hole that it is influenced by its strong gravity. In some cases the magnetic field is turbulent and variable near the jet base. In Cyg X-1, the origin of the γ-ray, X-ray and some of the infrared polarization is likely the optically thin synchrotron power law from the inner regions of the jet. In order to reproduce the polarization properties, the magnetic field in this region must be highly ordered, in contrast to other sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number01006
JournalEPJ Web of Conferences
StatePublished - 2013
EventInternational Symposium on the Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets and Their Magnetic Fields - Granada, Spain
Duration: Jun 10 2013Jun 14 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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