Circular polarization of synchrotron radiation in the presence of hydromagnetic waves
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It is shown that relativistic electrons in the presence of circularly polarized hydromagnetic waves emit synchrotron radiation which is partially circularly polarized. The relation between the degree of polarization of the radiation and the energy density and wavelength of the waves is derived, and the factors determining the sense of polarization are discussed. Waves of the type required are generated by pitch angle anisotropies in a relativistic electron gas. An application of the result to conditions expected in quasistellar objects shows that the degree of circular polarization of synchrotron radiation in these objects may be of order 1% or greater.
KeywordsRadiation Anisotropy Energy Density Synchrotron Radiation Pitch Angle
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