Magnetic field structure in relativistic jets

Helen Jermak, Carole Mundell, Iain Steele, Richard Harrison, Shiho Kobayashi, Elina Lindfors, Kari Nilsson, Ulisses Barres De Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Relativistic jets are ubiquitous when considering an accreting black hole. Two of the most extreme examples of these systems are blazars and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the jets of which are thought to be threaded with a magnetic field of unknown structure. The systems are made up of a black hole accreting matter and producing, as a result, relativistic jets of plasma from the poles of the black hole. Both systems are viewed as point sources from Earth, making it impossible to spatially resolve the jet. In order to explore the structure of the magnetic field within the jet we take polarisation measurements with the RINGO polarimeters on the world's largest fully autonomous, robotic optical telescope: The Liverpool Telescope. Using the polarisation degree and angle measured by the RINGO polarimeters it is possible to distinguish between global magnetic fields created in the central engine and random tangled magnetic fields produced locally in shocks. We also monitor blazar sources regularly during quiescence with periods of flaring monitored more intensively. Reported here are the early polarisation results for GRBs 060418 and 090102, along with future prospects for the Liverpool Telescope and the RINGO polarimeters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03005
Number of pages6
JournalEPJ Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
EventInternational Symposium on the Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets and Their Magnetic Fields - Granada, Spain
Duration: 10 Jun 201314 Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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