Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Probing the Internal Structure of Magnetized, Relativistic Jets with Numerical Simulations
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Multifrequency Studies of Active Galactic Nuclei in the Planck Satellite Era
Open AccessArticle

Through the Looking Glass: Faraday Conversion in Turbulent Blazar Jets

Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Academic Editors: Jose L. Gómez, Alan P. Marscher and Svetlana G. Jorstad
Galaxies 2016, 4(4), 50;
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 15 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blazars through Sharp Multi-wavelength Eyes)
Faint levels of circular polarization (Stokes V) have been detected in several relativistic jets. While typically less than a few percent, circular polarization can give us critical insight into the underlying nature of the jet plasma. Circular polarization can be produced through a process known as linear birefringence, in which initially linearly polarized emission produced in one region of the jet is altered by Faraday rotation as it propagates through other regions of the jet with distinct magnetic field orientations. Recently, Marscher has developed the Turbulent Extreme Multi-Zone (TEMZ) model for blazar emission, in which turbulent plasma crossing a standing shock in the jet is represented by a collection of thousands of individual plasma cells, each with distinct magnetic field orientation. In order to test whether the TEMZ model can reproduce circularly polarized radiation at levels comparable to those observed in blazars, I have developed a numerical algorithm to solve the full Stokes equations of polarized radiative transfer. I have embedded this algorithm into the ray-tracing code RADMC3D ( RADMC3D was originally developed to model continuum radiative transfer in dusty media. This code, however, has been written in a modularized fashion that allows the user to specify the physics that is incorporated into the radiative transfer. I have replaced RADMC3D’s thermal emission and absorption coefficients with non-thermal coefficients pertaining to polarized synchrotron emission. This code is applied to ray-tracing through the 3-D TEMZ computational grid. Here I present a suite of synthetic polarized emission maps that highlight the effect that thousands of distinct cells of plasma within a jet can have on the observed linear and circular polarization. View Full-Text
Keywords: galaxies; jets; relativistic processes; polarization galaxies; jets; relativistic processes; polarization
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

MacDonald, N.R. Through the Looking Glass: Faraday Conversion in Turbulent Blazar Jets. Galaxies 2016, 4, 50.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop