AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 132. AGN - Modeling
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 132] | [Next]

[132.01] Circular polarization from stochastic self-absorbed synchrotron sources

M. Ruszkowski (JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder), M. C. Begelman (JILA & Department of Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder)

The transfer of polarized radiation in stochastic self-absorbed synchrotron sources is explored by means of analytic treatment and Monte Carlo simulations. We argue that the mechanism responsible for the circular polarization of most compact synchrotron sources is Faraday conversion. Contrary to common expectation, a significant rate of Faraday rotation does not necessarily imply strong depolarization. The long-term persistence of the sign of circular polarization, observed in many sources, is most likely due to a small net magnetic flux generated in the central engine, carried along the jet axis and superimposed on a turbulent magnetic field. The related issue of statistical fluctuations of polarized radiation is discussed. We demonstrate how our model can naturally explain the excess of circular over linear polarization in the Galactic Center and briefly discuss the application of the model to the quasar 3C 279.\\

This work was supported in part by NSF grant AST-9876887.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mr@quixote.colorado.edu

[Previous] | [Session 132] | [Next]