47 research outputs found

    Pulsar scattering in space and time

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    We report on a recent global VLBI experiment in which we study the scatter broadening of pulsars in the spatial and time domain simultaneously. Depending on the distribution of scattering screen(s), geometry predicts that the less spatially broadened parts of the signal arrive earlier than the more broadened parts. This means that over one pulse period the size of the scattering disk should grow from pointlike to the maximum size. An equivalent description is that the pulse profile shows less temporal broadening on the longer baselines. This contribution presents first results that are consistent with the expected expanding rings. We also briefly discuss how the autocorrelations can be used for amplitude calibration. This requires a thorough investigation of the digitisation and the sampler statistics and is not fully solved yet.Comment: 6 pages. Talk presented at the 11th European VLBI Network Symposium (Bordeaux, France, 9-12 October 2012), PoS(11th EVN Symposium)04

    Degeneracies and scaling relations in general power-law models for gravitational lenses

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    The time delay in gravitational lenses can be used to derive the Hubble constant in a relatively simple way. The results of this method are less dependent on astrophysical assumptions than in many other methods. The most important uncertainty is related to the mass model used. We discuss a family of models with a separable radial power-law and an arbitrary angular dependence for the potential psi = r^beta * F(theta). Isothermal potentials are a special case of these models with beta=1. An additional external shear is used to take into account perturbations from other galaxies. Using a simple linear formalism for quadruple lenses, we can derive H0 as a function of the observables and the shear. If the latter is fixed, the result depends on the assumed power-law exponent according to H0 proportional to (2-beta)/beta. The effect of external shear is quantified by introducing a `critical shear' gamma_c as a measure for the amount of shear that changes the result significantly. The analysis shows, that in the general case H0 and gamma_c do not depend on the position of the lens galaxy. We discuss these results and compare with numerical models for a number of real lens systems.Comment: accepted for publication in MNRAS, 10 pages, 4 figures (eps included), uses mn2e.cls, amsmath.sty, times.st

    Direct model fitting to combine dithered ACS images

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    The information lost in images of undersampled CCD cameras can be recovered with the technique of `dithering'. A number of subexposures is taken with sub-pixel shifts in order to record structures on scales smaller than a pixel. The standard method to combine such exposures, `Drizzle', averages after reversing the displacements, including rotations and distortions. More sophisticated methods are available to produce, e.g., Nyquist sampled representations of band-limited inputs. While the combined images produced by these methods can be of high quality, their use as input for forward-modelling techniques in gravitational lensing is still not optimal, because the residual artefacts still affect the modelling results in unpredictable ways. In this paper we argue for an overall modelling approach that takes into account the dithering and the lensing without the intermediate product of a combined image. As one building block we introduce an alternative approach to combine dithered images by direct model fitting with a least-squares approach including a regularization constraint. We present tests with simulated and real data that show the quality of the results. The additional effects of gravitational lensing and the convolution with an instrumental point spread function can be included in a natural way, avoiding the possible systematic errors of previous procedures.Comment: 6 pages, 8 figure

    Intensity interferometry with more than two detectors?

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    The original intensity interferometers were instruments built in the 1950s and 60s by Hanbury Brown and collaborators, achieving milli-arcsec resolutions in visible light without optical-quality mirrors. They exploited a then-novel physical effect, now known as HBT correlation after the experiments of Hanbury Brown and Twiss, and nowadays considered fundamental in quantum optics. Now a new generation of inten- sity interferometers is being designed, raising the possibility of measuring intensity correlations with three or more detectors. Quantum optics predicts some interesting features in higher-order HBT. One is that HBT correlation increases combinatorially with the number of detectors. Signal to noise considerations suggest, that many-detector HBT correlations would be mea- surable for bright masers, but very difficult for thermal sources. But the more modest three-detector HBT correlation seems measurable for bright stars, and would provide image information (namely the bispectrum) not present in standard HBT.Comment: 7 pages, 2 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRA