Linear polarization and composition of VLBI jets
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 10 October 2001
It is shown that linear polarization data can be used to constrain the composition (normal or pair plasma) of pc-scale extragalactic jets. A simple criterion, based on synchrotron and Faraday depolarization properties, is established. It does not depend on the particle density and the length of the emitting region along the line of sight, thus eliminating two physical unknowns.
Key words: galaxies: jet / galaxies: active / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / radio continuum: galaxies / polarization / methods: analytical
© ESO, 2002