Volume 567, July 2014
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||14 July 2014|
Depolarization of synchrotron radiation in a multilayer magneto-ionic medium
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University,
PO Box 9513
2 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3 School of Mathematics and Statistics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Accepted: 4 April 2014
Depolarization of diffuse radio synchrotron emission is classified in terms of wavelength-independent and wavelength-dependent depolarization in the context of regular magnetic fields and of both isotropic and anisotropic turbulent magnetic fields. Previous analytical formulas for depolarization due to differential Faraday rotation are extended to include internal Faraday dispersion concomitantly, for a multilayer synchrotron emitting and Faraday rotating magneto-ionic medium. In particular, depolarization equations for a two- and three-layer system (disk-halo, halo-disk-halo) are explicitly derived. To both serve as a “user’s guide” to the theoretical machinery and as an approach for disentangling line-of-sight depolarization contributions in face-on galaxies, the analytical framework is applied to data from a small region in the face-on grand-design spiral galaxy M 51. The effectiveness of the multiwavelength observations in constraining the pool of physical depolarization scenarios is illustrated for a two- and three-layer model along with a Faraday screen system for an observationally motivated magnetic field configuration.
Key words: polarization / galaxies: magnetic fields / radio continuum: galaxies / ISM: magnetic fields / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: individual: M 51
© ESO, 2014
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