HEAD 2003 Meeting
Session 16. Gamma-ray Bursts III
Poster, Sunday-Wednesday, March 23, 2003, Duration of Meeting

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[16.18] RHESSI search for polarization in prompt GRB emission

W. Coburn (Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley), S. E. Boggs (Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley & Department of Physics, UC Berkeley)

We describe efforts to search for linear polarization in Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) using the 9 coaxial germanium focal plane detectors on the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI). These detectors are unshielded, so while RHESSI will likely never see a GRB in its 1-degree imaging FOV, it frequently measures GRBs in the detectors from off axis. The instrument provides high resolution spectra and individual photon times, as well as the detector-to-detector scatter events that allow potential polarization measurements. RHESSI has several advantages over previous instruments that have been used to search for GRB polarization, including the fact the RHESSI rotates with a 4 second period, which averages out systematic uncertainties. We will discuss analysis techniques and expected sensitivities, as well as implications of polarization measurements.

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