Astrophysical spectropolarimetry

Trujilo-Bueno, J.; Moreno-Insertis, F.; Sánchez, F.
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Astrophysical spectropolarimetry. Proceedings of the XII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain, November 13 - 24, 2000, edited by J. Trujillo-Bueno, F. Moreno-Insertis, and F. Sánchez. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-80998-3, 2002, XIV + 354 pp.

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The polarization of light is the key to obtaining a wealth of essential information that lies encoded in the electromagnetic radiation from cosmic objects. Spectropolarimetry and imaging polarimetry provide powerful diagnostics of the physical conditions in astrophysical plasmas, which cannot be obtained via conventional spectroscopy. Whilst its application to other fields of astrophysics is still at an early stage of development, spectropolarimetry is being used with great success in solar physics. The book contains the lectures delivered at the XII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics. Written by eight prestigious astrophysics researchers, it covers the physics of polarization, polarized radiation diagnostics of solar magnetic fields, stellar magnetic fields, polarization insights for active galactic nuclei, compact objects and accretion disks, astronomical masers and their polarization, infrared-submillimeter spectropolarimetry, and instrumentation for astrophysical spectropolarimetry. This timely volume will provide graduate students and researchers with an unprecedented introduction to the field of astrophysical spectropolarimetry.