Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1307.4187 (Haocheng Zhang et al.)

X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Polarization in Leptonic and Hadronic Jet Models of Blazars    [PDF]

Haocheng Zhang, Markus Boettcher
We present a theoretical analysis of the expected X-ray and gamma-ray polarization signatures resulting from synchrotron self-Compton emission in leptonic models, compared to the polarization signatures from proton synchrotron and cascade synchrotron emission in hadronic models for blazars. Source parameters resulting from detailed spectral-energy-distribution modeling are used to calculate photon-energy-dependent upper limits on the degree of polarization, assuming a perfectly organized, mono-directional magnetic field. In low-synchrotron-peaked blazars, hadronic models exhibit substantially higher maximum degrees of X-ray and gamma-ray polarization than leptonic models, which may be within reach for existing X-ray and gamma-ray polarimeters. In high-synchrotron-peaked blazars (with electron-synchrotron-dominated X-ray emission), leptonic and hadronic models predict the same degree of X-ray polarization, but substantially higher maximum gamma-ray polarization in hadronic models than leptonic ones. These predictions are particularly relevant in view of the new generation of balloon-borne X-ray polarimeters (and possibly GEMS, if revived), and the ability of Fermi-LAT to measure gamma-ray polarization at < 200 MeV. We suggest observational strategies combining optical, X-ray, gamma-ray polarimetry to determine the degree of ordering of the magnetic field and to distinguish between leptonic and hadronic high-energy emission.
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