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Title: Detection of gamma-ray polarisation using the integral satellite
Author: Clark, David John
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2007
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There have been few attempts at measuring gamma-ray polarisation since measurements are hampered by large backgrounds and systematic effects within the detectors. However, the advent of modern fast computing clusters has made large scale simulation of an instrument's response now possible. By combining instrument data and results from detailed Monte-Carlo Mass-Model simulations using GEANT 4, it is possible to put constraints on the polarisation characteristics of the gamma-ray flux emitted by a source. Using the Compton scattered events in the SPI instrument on INTEGRAL, constraints have been put on the percentage polarisation in the prompt gamma-ray flux of GRB041219a to be 96±40% at 68% confidence and greater than 5% at 99.7% confidence. The method has also been extended to allow the summation of multiple data sets to obtain a measurement of the off-pulse polarisation of the Crab pulsar of 46% ± 10% at an angle of 123° ± 11°, showing a remarkable alignment to the rotational axis of the spinning Neutron star.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available