Recent developments in the spectropolarimetric study of compact objects, specifically black holes (stellar and massive) and neutron stars are reviewed. The lectures are organized around five topics: disks, jets, outflows, neutron stars and black holes. They emphasize physical mechanisms and are intended to bridge the gap between the fundamentals of polarimetry and the phenomenology of observed cosmic sources of polarized radiation, as covered by the other lectures. There has been considerable recent progress in spectropolarimetry from radio through optical frequencies and this is producing some unique diagnostics of the physical conditions around compact objects. It is argued that there is a great need to develop a correspondingly sensitive polarimetric capability at ultraviolet through γ-ray energies.
- Pub Date:
- Compact Objects;
- Accretion Disks;
- To be published in the proceedings of the XII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics. Contains 47 pages with 10 figures