31 March 2008 Astrophysical polarimetry: science, techniques, and methodology
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Polarimetry has been used by astronomers to explore diverse objects such as stars in formation, primordial discs around stars that could provide the birthplace of planets, magnetic fields in stars and interactions of black holes with their environments and host galaxies. In recent years, telescopes with primary mirrors of 8-10m have been commissioned, and a new era of airborne astronomy is imminent, enabling more detailed observations of fainter and more distant objects as well as offering an increasing diversity of wavelength coverage and techniques. Significant technological progress in polarizing components and methodologies has also been realized in recent years. Together these developments afford astrophysical polarimetry with considerable advances across all wavelengths. I review the astronomical drivers for such progress and the instrumentation/methodologies at optical, mid-IR and mm wavelengths required to realize such progress.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
C. Packham, "Astrophysical polarimetry: science, techniques, and methodology", Proc. SPIE 6972, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VIII, 69720I (31 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.779765; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.779765


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