HEAD 2003 Meeting
Session 20. Magnetars and Young Neutron Stars III
Poster, Sunday-Wednesday, March 23, 2003, Duration of Meeting

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[20.07] Polarized Spectra from Magnetized Hydrogen Neutron-Star Atmospheres

J. Heyl, D. Lloyd (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Here we present an integration of the state of the art in the modelling of the thermal emission from magnetized neutron stars with a detailed calculation of the propagation of the radiation through the neutron star magnetosphere including both relativistic and quantumelectrodynamic effects. We find, counter to previous predictions, that the thermal radiation of NSs should be highly polarized even in the optical. When detected, this polarization will be the first demonstration of vacuum birefringence. It could be used as a tool to prove the high magnetic field nature of AXPs and it could also be used to constrain physical NS parameters, such as R/M, to which the net polarization is sensitive.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#2
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.