14 research outputs found

    An X-ray Polarimeter for HXMT Mission

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    The development of micropixel gas detectors, capable to image tracks produced in a gas by photoelectrons, makes possible to perform polarimetry of X-ray celestial sources in the focus of grazing incidence X-ray telescopes. HXMT is a mission by the Chinese Space Agency aimed to survey the Hard X-ray Sky with Phoswich detectors, by exploitation of the direct demodulation technique. Since a fraction of the HXMT time will be spent on dedicated pointing of particular sources, it could host, with moderate additional resources a pair of X-ray telescopes, each with a photoelectric X-ray polarimeter in the focal plane. We present the design of the telescopes and the focal plane instrumentation and discuss the performance of this instrument to detect the degree and angle of linear polarization of some representative sources. Notwithstanding the limited resources the proposed instrument can represent a breakthrough in X-ray Polarimetry.Comment: 10 pages, 9 figure

    An X-ray polarimeter for hard X-ray optics

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    Development of multi-layer optics makes feasible the use of X-ray telescope at energy up to 60-80 keV: in this paper we discuss the extension of photoelectric polarimeter based on Micro Pattern Gas Chamber to high energy X-rays. We calculated the sensitivity with Neon and Argon based mixtures at high pressure with thick absorption gap: placing the MPGC at focus of a next generation multi-layer optics, galatic and extragalactic X-ray polarimetry can be done up till 30 keV.Comment: 12 pages, 7 figure

    POLARIX: a pathfinder mission of X-ray polarimetry

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    Since the birth of X-ray astronomy, spectral, spatial and timing observation improved dramatically, procuring a wealth of information on the majority of the classes of the celestial sources. Polarimetry, instead, remained basically unprobed. X-ray polarimetry promises to provide additional information procuring two new observable quantities, the degree and the angle of polarization. POLARIX is a mission dedicated to X-ray polarimetry. It exploits the polarimetric response of a Gas Pixel Detector, combined with position sensitivity, that, at the focus of a telescope, results in a huge increase of sensitivity. Three Gas Pixel Detectors are coupled with three X-ray optics which are the heritage of JET-X mission. POLARIX will measure time resolved X-ray polarization with an angular resolution of about 20 arcsec in a field of view of 15 arcmin Ă—\times 15 arcmin and with an energy resolution of 20 % at 6 keV. The Minimum Detectable Polarization is 12 % for a source having a flux of 1 mCrab and 10^5 s of observing time. The satellite will be placed in an equatorial orbit of 505 km of altitude by a Vega launcher.The telemetry down-link station will be Malindi. The pointing of POLARIX satellite will be gyroless and it will perform a double pointing during the earth occultation of one source, so maximizing the scientific return. POLARIX data are for 75 % open to the community while 25 % + SVP (Science Verification Phase, 1 month of operation) is dedicated to a core program activity open to the contribution of associated scientists. The planned duration of the mission is one year plus three months of commissioning and SVP, suitable to perform most of the basic science within the reach of this instrument.Comment: 42 pages, 28 figure

    A photoelectric polarimeter for XEUS: a new window in x-ray sky

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    XEUS is a large area telescope aiming to rise X-ray Astronomy to the level of Optical Astronomy in terms of collecting areas. It will be based on two satellites, locked on a formation flight, one with the optics, one with the focal plane. The present design of the focal plane foresees, as an auxiliary instrument, the inclusion of a Polarimeter based on a Micropattern Chamber. We show how such a device is capable to solve open problems on many classes of High Energy Astrophysics objects and to use X-ray sources as a laboratory for a substantial progress on Fundamental Physics.Comment: 12 pages, 7 figure

    POLARIX: a small mission of x-ray polarimetry

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    X-Ray Polarimetry can be now performed by using a Micro Pattern Gas Chamber in the focus of a telescope. It requires large area optics for most important scientific targets. But since the technique is additive a dedicated mission with a cluster of small telescopes can perform many important measurements and bridge the 40 year gap between OSO-8 data and future big telescopes such as XEUS. POLARIX has been conceived as such a pathfinder. It is a Small Satellite based on the optics of JET-X. Two telescopes are available in flight configuration and three more can be easily produced starting from the available superpolished mandrels. We show the capabilities of such a cluster of telescopes each equipped with a focal plane photoelectric polarimeter and discuss a few alternative solutions.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figure

    XIPE: the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer

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    X-ray polarimetry, sometimes alone, and sometimes coupled to spectral and temporal variability measurements and to imaging, allows a wealth of physical phenomena in astrophysics to be studied. X-ray polarimetry investigates the acceleration process, for example, including those typical of magnetic reconnection in solar flares, but also emission in the strong magnetic fields of neutron stars and white dwarfs. It detects scattering in asymmetric structures such as accretion disks and columns, and in the so-called molecular torus and ionization cones. In addition, it allows fundamental physics in regimes of gravity and of magnetic field intensity not accessible to experiments on the Earth to be probed. Finally, models that describe fundamental interactions (e.g. quantum gravity and the extension of the Standard Model) can be tested. We describe in this paper the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer (XIPE), proposed in June 2012 to the first ESA call for a small mission with a launch in 2017 but not selected. XIPE is composed of two out of the three existing JET-X telescopes with two Gas Pixel Detectors (GPD) filled with a He-DME mixture at their focus and two additional GPDs filled with pressurized Ar-DME facing the sun. The Minimum Detectable Polarization is 14 % at 1 mCrab in 10E5 s (2-10 keV) and 0.6 % for an X10 class flare. The Half Energy Width, measured at PANTER X-ray test facility (MPE, Germany) with JET-X optics is 24 arcsec. XIPE takes advantage of a low-earth equatorial orbit with Malindi as down-link station and of a Mission Operation Center (MOC) at INPE (Brazil).Comment: 49 pages, 14 figures, 6 tables. Paper published in Experimental Astronomy http://link.springer.com/journal/1068

    XIPE: the x-ray imaging polarimetry explorer

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    XIPE, the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer, is a mission dedicated to X-ray Astronomy. At the time of writing XIPE is in a competitive phase A as fourth medium size mission of ESA (M4). It promises to reopen the polarimetry window in high energy Astrophysics after more than 4 decades thanks to a detector that efficiently exploits the photoelectric effect and to X-ray optics with large effective area. XIPE uniqueness is time-spectrally-spatially- resolved X-ray polarimetry as a breakthrough in high energy astrophysics and fundamental physics. Indeed the payload consists of three Gas Pixel Detectors at the focus of three X-ray optics with a total effective area larger than one XMM mirror but with a low weight. The payload is compatible with the fairing of the Vega launcher. XIPE is designed as an observatory for X-ray astronomers with 75 % of the time dedicated to a Guest Observer competitive program and it is organized as a consortium across Europe with main contributions from Italy, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden

    The Instrument of the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer

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    While X-ray spectroscopy, timing, and imaging have improved much since 1962 when the first astronomical nonsolar source was discovered, especially wi the launch of the Newton/X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, Rossi/X-ray Timing Explorer, and Chandra/Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility, the progress of X-ray polarimetry has been meager. This is in part due to the lack of sensitive polarization detectors, which in turn is a result of the fate of approved missions and because celestial X-ray sources appear less polarized than expected. Only one positive measurement has been available until now: the Orbiting Solar Observatory measured the polarization of the Crab Nebula in the 1970s. The advent of microelectronics techniques has allowed for designing a detector based on the photoelectric effect of gas in an energy range where the optics are efficient at focusing in X-rays. Here we describe the instrument, which is the major contribution of the Italian collaboration to the Small Explorer mission called IXPE, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, which will launch in late 2021. The instrument is composed of three detector units based on this technique and a detector service unit. Three mirror modules provided by Marshall Space Flight Center focus X-rays onto the detectors. We show the technological choices, their scientific motivation, and results from the calibration of the instrument. IXPE will perform imaging, timing, and energy-resolved polarimetry in the 2–8 keV energy band opening this window of X-ray astronomy to tens of celestial sources of almost all classes

    The association of indwelling urinary catheter with delirium in hospitalized patients and nursing home residents: an explorative analysis from the "Delirium Day 2015"

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    BackroundUse of indwelling urinary catheter (IUC) in older adults has negative consequences, including delirium.AimThis analysis, from the Delirium Day 2015, a nationwide multicenter prevalence study, aim to evaluate the association of IUC with delirium in hospitalized and Nursing Homes (NHs) patients.MethodsPatients underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment, including the presence of IUC; inclusion criteria were age>65 years, being Italian speaker and providing informed consent; exclusion criteria were coma, aphasia, end-of-life status. Delirium was assessed using the 4AT test (score4: possible delirium; scores 1-3: possible cognitive impairment).ResultsAmong 1867 hospitalized patients (mean age 82.07.5 years, 58% female), 539 (28.9%) had IUC, 429 (22.9%) delirium and 675 (36.1%) cognitive impairment. IUC was significantly associated with cognitive impairment (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.19-2.16) and delirium (2.45, 95% CI 1.73-3.47), this latter being significant also in the subset of patients without dementia (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.52-3.43). Inattention and impaired alertness were also independently associated with IUC. Among 1454 NHs residents (mean age 84.47.4 years, 70.% female), 63 (4.3%) had IUC, 535 (36.8%) a 4AT score4, and 653 (44.9%) a 4AT score 1-3. The multivariate logistic regression analysis did not show a significant association between 4AT test or its specific items with IUC, neither in the subset of patients without dementia.DiscussionWe confirmed a significant association between IUC and delirium in hospitalized patients but not in NHs residents.ConclusionEnvironmental and clinical factors of acute setting might contribute to IUC-associated delirium occurrence
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