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M. Shoji, C. M. Gaskell (U. Nebraska), R. W. Goosmann (Obs. de Paris, Meudon)
The optical polarization of AGNs has long been known to be variable but the cause of the variability in non-blazar AGNs is uncertain. We have modified the STOKES polarization modeling program (Goosmann & Gaskell 2004, astro-ph/0507072) to include time variability in polarization from scattering components. We demonstrate how polarization variability can be used to probe the size and structure of scattering regions. For NGC 4151, photometric and polarimetric observations suggest a size of the scattering region which is consistent with the size of the dust-emitting torus deduced from IR reverberation mapping. Temporal changes in the wavelength dependence of polarization across broad emission lines are seen in some objects and these imply changes in the BLR and scatterer geometry.
This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation through grant AST 03-07912, and by the University of Nebraska Undergraduate Creativity and Research Experience(UCARE) program.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.