Search for optical circular polarization in the crab nebula

J. D. Landstreet, J. R.P. Angel

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Abstract

IT has recently been suggested by Gunn and Ostriker1 and by Rees (paper presented at the IAU symposium 46 on the Crab Nebula, Manchester, August 1970) that the magnetic field in the Crab Nebula which causes relativistic particles to emit synchrotron radiation may be an oscillating 30 Hz electromagnetic field from the pulsar rather than a static field. Rees has shown that if this is the case, the nebula should show a component of circular polarization of order a few per cent in visible light. This is predicted to have opposite sense in the NW and SE regions of the nebula, supposing that the spin axis of the pulsar is in the direction of linear polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalNature
Volume230
Issue number5289
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1971

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