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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Circular Polarization in Turbulent Blazar Jets

Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Galaxies 2017, 5(4), 82;
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polarised Emission from Astrophysical Jets)
Circular polarization (CP) provides an invaluable probe into the underlying plasma content of relativistic jets. CP can be generated within the jet through a physical process known as linear birefringence. This is a physical mechanism through which initially linearly polarized emission produced in one region of the jet is attenuated by Faraday rotation as it passes through other regions of the jet with distinct magnetic field orientations. Marscher developed the turbulent extreme multi-zone (TEMZ) model of blazar emission which mimics these types of magnetic geometries with collections of thousands of plasma cells passing through a standing conical shock. I have recently developed a radiative transfer algorithm to generate synthetic images of the time-dependent circularly polarized intensity emanating from the TEMZ model at different radio frequencies. In this study, we produce synthetic multi-epoch observations that highlight the temporal variability in the circular polarization produced by the TEMZ model. We also explore the effect that different plasma compositions within the jet have on the resultant levels of CP. View Full-Text
Keywords: galaxies; jets; relativistic processes; polarization galaxies; jets; relativistic processes; polarization
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MacDonald, N.R. Circular Polarization in Turbulent Blazar Jets. Galaxies 2017, 5, 82.

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