Linear and circular polarization of a 1D relativistic jet model
Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Accepted: 28 January 2019
Context. Polarimetric observations of black holes allow us to probe structures of magnetic fields and plasmas in strong gravity.
Aims. We present a study of the polarimetric properties of a synchrotron spectrum emitted from a relativistic jet using a low-dimensional model.
Methods. A novel numerical scheme is used to integrate relativistic polarized radiative transfer equations in a slab geometry where the plasma conditions change along the integration path.
Results. We find that the simple model of a non-uniform jet can recover basic observational characteristics of some astrophysical sources with a relativistic jet, such as extremely high rotation measures. Our models incorporate a time-dependent component. A small fluctuation in density or temperature of the plasma along the jet produces significant amounts of fluctuations not only in the fractional linear and circular polarizations, but also in the jet internal rotation measures.
Conclusions. The low-dimensional models presented here are developed within the same computational framework as the complex three-dimensional general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics simulations of black hole disks and jets, and they offer guidance when interpreting the results from more complex polarization models. The models presented here are scalable to stationary and transient polarized radio emissions produced by relativistic plasma ejected from around compact objects, in both stellar-mass and supermassive black hole systems.
Key words: black hole physics / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / polarization / radiative transfer / relativistic processes
© ESO 2019