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Polarization in the prompt emission of gamma-ray bursts and their afterglows

Abstract

Synchrotron is considered the dominant emission mechanism in the production of gamma-ray burst photons in the prompt as well as in the afterglow phase. Polarization is a characteristic feature of synchrotron and its study can reveal a wealth of information on the properties of the magnetic field and of the energy distribution in gamma-ray burst jets. In this paper I will review the theory and observations of gamma-ray bursts polarization. While the theory is well established, observations have prove difficult to perform, due to the weakness of the signal. The discriminating power of polarization observations, however, cannot be overestimated.Comment: 16 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in the New Journal of Physics focus issue on Gamma Ray Burst

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    Last time updated on 01/04/2019