Polarization in Spectral Lines

Special Cases of the Polarization Ellipse For some special values of the parameters E1, E2, and (φ1 − φ2), the polarization ellipse degenerates either into a segment or into a circle. The first case takes place when PV = 0, ...

Polarization in Spectral Lines

Author: M. Landi Degl'Innocenti

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1402024150

Page: 890

View: 599

The scientific research based on spectropolarimetric techniques is undergoing a phase of rapid growth. Instruments of unprecedented sensitivity are nowadays available, particularly for solar observations. To fully exploit the rich diagnostic content of such observations, it is necessary to understand the physical mechanisms involved in the generation and transfer of polarized radiation in astrophysical (or laboratory) plasmas. After an introductory part based on classical physics, this book tackles the subject by a rigorous quantum-mechanical approach. The transfer equations for polarized radiation and the statistical equilibrium equations for the atomic density matrix are derived directly from the principles of Quantum Electrodynamics. The two sets of equations are then used to present a number of applications, mainly concerning the diagnostics of solar magnetic fields. This book is primarily addressed to scientists working in the field of spectropolarimetry. It may also serve as a textbook for a course at the graduate or advanced undergraduate level.

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