Astro2020 Science White Paper: Using X-Ray Polarimetry to Probe the Physics of Black Holes and Neutron Stars
This white paper highlights compact object and fundamental physics science opportunities afforded by high-throughput broadband (0.1-60 keV) X-ray polarization observations. X-ray polarimetry gives new observables with geometric information about stellar remnants which are many orders of magnitude too small for direct imaging. The X-ray polarimetric data also reveal details about the emission mechanisms and the structure of the magnetic fields in and around the most extreme objects in the Universe. Whereas the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) to be launched in 2021 will obtain first results for bright objects, a follow-up mission could be one order of magnitude more sensitive and would be able to use a broader bandpass to perform physics type experiments for representative samples of sources.
- Pub Date:
- April 2019
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey organized by the Board of Physics and Astronomy and the Space Studies Board of the National Academies