We describe a technique for measuring the polarization of hard x-rays from γ-ray bursts based on the angular distribution of that portion of the flux which is scattered off the top of the Earth’s atmosphere. The scattering cross section depends not only on the scatter angle itself, but on the orientation of the scatter angle with respect to the incident polarization vector. Consequently, the distribution of the observed albedo flux will depend on the direction and the polarization properties (i.e., the level of polarization and polarization angle) of the source. Although the BATSE design (with its large field-of-view for each detector) is not optimized for albedo polarimetry, we have nonetheless investigated the feasibility of this technique using BATSE data.

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AIP Conference Proceedings


AIP Publishing

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Conference Proceeding


© 1996 American Institute of Physics