The Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets and Their Magnetic Fields. Granada (Spain). June 10th-14th, 2013.

Russell, David

Polarimetric Observations of the Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets in X-ray Binaries.


Author list: D. M. Russell


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. We show that the polarimetric signature of their 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. We conclude that the magnetic field is turbulent and variable near the jet base. We also predict that in some cases, variable levels of X-ray polarization from synchrotron emission from the jets will be detected from accreting black holes by future spaceborne X-ray polarimeters.