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RINGO3: a multi-colour fast response polarimeter

Arnold, DM and Steele, IA and Bates, SD and Mottram, CJ and Smith, RJ (2012) RINGO3: a multi-colour fast response polarimeter. In: GROUND-BASED AND AIRBORNE INSTRUMENTATION FOR ASTRONOMY IV , 8446. (Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 1 July 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands).

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Abstract

GRB jets contain rapidly moving electrons which will spiral around magnetic field lines. This causes them to emit polarized synchrotron emission. We have built a series of polarimeters (RINGO and RINGO2) to investigate this by measuring the polarization of optical light from GRBs at a certain single wavelength. The instruments are mounted on the Liverpool Telescope, which is a fully robotic (i.e. unmanned) telescope on La Palma which reacts to triggers from satellites such as the NASA SWIFT mission. This has had great success, with the first ever detections of early time optical polarization being made. In addition, the first measurements of the change in optical polarization from a GRB as the jet expands have recently been obtained. In this paper we describe the design and construction of RINGO3. This will be a multi-colour instrument that can observe simultaneously at three wavelengths. By doing so we will be able to unambiguously identify where in the burst the polarized emission is coming from. This will allow us to distinguish between three possibilities: (1) Magnetic instabilities generated in the shock front, (2) Line of sight effects and (3) Large-scale magnetic fields present throughout the relativistic outflow. The instrument design combines a rapidly rotating polaroid, specially designed polarization insensitive dichroic mirrors and three electron multiplying CCD cameras to provide simultaneous wavelength coverage with a time resolution of 1 second.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Technology; Physical Sciences; Engineering, Aerospace; Instruments & Instrumentation; Optics; Engineering; robotic telescopes; gamma ray bursts; polarimeters; astronomical instrumentation; LIVERPOOL-TELESCOPE
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING
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Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 11:45
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2016 11:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1117/12.927000
Editors: McLean, IS and Ramsay, SK and Takami, H
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3445

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