Design and Performance of the X-ray polarimeter X-Calibur

Academic Article


  • X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information about high-energy astrophysical sources, such as binary black hole systems, micro-quasars, active galactic nuclei, neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts. We designed, built and tested a X-ray polarimeter, X-Calibur, to be used in the focal plane of the balloon-borne InFOCuS grazing incidence X-ray telescope. X-Calibur combines a low-Z scatterer with a CZT detector assembly to measure the polarization of 20-80keV X-rays making use of the fact that polarized photons scatter preferentially perpendicular to the electric field orientation. X-Calibur achieves a high detection efficiency of ~80%. The X-Calibur detector assembly is completed, tested, and fully calibrated. The response to a polarized X-ray beam was measured successfully at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. This paper describes the design, calibration and performance of the X-Calibur polarimeter. In principle, a similar space-borne scattering polarimeter could operate over the broader 2-100keV energy band.
  • Authors

  • Beilicke, Matthias
  • Kislat, Fabian
  • Zajczyk, A
  • Guo, Q
  • Endsley, R
  • Stork, M
  • Cowsik, R
  • Dowkontt, P
  • Barthelmy, S
  • Hams, T
  • Okajima, T
  • Sasaki, M
  • Zeiger, B
  • Geronimo, G De
  • Baring, MG
  • Krawczynski, H
  • Keywords

  • astro-ph.IM