Understanding magnetic field strength and morphology is very important for studying astrophysical jets. Polarization signatures have been a standard way to probe the jet magnetic field. Radio and optical polarization monitoring programs have been very successful in studying the space- and time-dependent jet polarization behaviors. A new era is now arriving with high-energy polarimetry. X-ray and
-ray polarimetry can probe the most active jet regions with the most efficient particle acceleration. This new opportunity will make a strong impact on our current understanding of jet systems. This paper summarizes the scientific potential and current model predictions for X-ray and
-ray polarization of astrophysical jets. In particular, we discuss the advantages of using high-energy polarimetry to constrain several important problems in the jet physics, including the jet radiation mechanisms, particle acceleration mechanisms, and jet kinetic and magnetic energy composition. Here we take blazars as a study case, but the general approach can be similarly applied to other astrophysical jets. We conclude that by comparing combined magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), particle transport, and polarization-dependent radiation transfer simulations with multi-wavelength time-dependent radiation and polarization observations, we will obtain the strongest constraints and the best knowledge of jet physics.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited