Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Research Note: X-ray polarimetry of Relativistic Jets

Stanford Data Science Scholar, Lawrence Peirson, discusses astronomy plus data science in his Oct 23, 2022 research note

The Imaging X-ray Polarization Explorer (IXPE) is a recently launched NASA SMEX mission that has just opened up a new window on the universe as the first imaging X-ray polarimeter. I will start by briefly discussing how we measure polarization with IXPE and some of my work on improving its sensitivity using simulation-based inference. Next, I will cover some of the recent and upcoming science we have been doing with IXPE on blazar jets – focusing on polarization rotations.  I’ll finish by noting some ideas for future research, including using polarization measurements to place limits on jet turbulence scaling.

Discussion highlights: We discussed the accuracy of the detector simulator, equivariance in neural posterior estimation, outlier events in the detector and possible Gaussian process modelling of blazar rotations as a future direction.

For simulation based inference in X-ray polarimetry see

More News Topics