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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

The Growth of Interest in Astronomical X-Ray Polarimetry

Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, UMR 7550, 11 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
Galaxies 2018, 6(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies6010038
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Bright Future of Astronomical X-ray Polarimetry)
Astronomical X-ray polarimetry was first explored in the end of the 1960s by pioneering rocket instruments. The craze arising from the first discoveries of stellar and supernova remnant X-ray polarization led to the addition of X-ray polarimeters to early satellites. Unfortunately, the inadequacy of the diffraction and scattering technologies required to measure polarization with respect to the constraints driven by X-ray mirrors and detectors, coupled with long integration times, slowed down the field for almost 40 years. Thanks to the development of new, highly sensitive, compact X-ray polarimeters in the beginning of the 2000s, observing astronomical X-ray polarization has become feasible, and scientists are now ready to explore our high-energy sky thanks to modern X-ray polarimeters. In the forthcoming years, several X-ray missions (rockets, balloons, and satellites) will create new observational opportunities. Interest in astronomical X-ray polarimetry field has thus been renewed, and this paper presents for the first time a quantitative assessment, all based on scientific literature, of the growth of this interest. View Full-Text
Keywords: X-rays; polarimetry; general; history of astronomy X-rays; polarimetry; general; history of astronomy
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Marin, F. The Growth of Interest in Astronomical X-Ray Polarimetry. Galaxies 2018, 6, 38.

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