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Blazar Optical Polarimetry: Current Progress in Observations and Theories

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Galaxies 2019, 7(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies7040085
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 27 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jet Physics of Accreting Super Massive Black Holes)
Polarimetry has been a standard tool to probe the active galactic nucleus (AGN) jet magnetic field. In recent years, several optical polarization monitoring programs have been carried out, bringing in many exciting new results and insights into jet dynamics and emission. This article discusses current progress in blazar optical polarimetry. The main focus is the variability of polarization signatures, which has spurred a lot of theoretical studies. These novel developments have provided unique constraints on the blazar flares and emphasized the role of the magnetic field in jet evolution. Optical polarimetry will continue to act as an essential component in the multi-messenger study of AGN jets, in particular with the upcoming high-energy polarimetry. Comparing to first-principle numerical simulations, future multi-wavelength polarimetry can shed light on jet dynamics, particle acceleration, and radiation processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: active galaxies; blazars; polarization active galaxies; blazars; polarization
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Zhang, H. Blazar Optical Polarimetry: Current Progress in Observations and Theories. Galaxies 2019, 7, 85.

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