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Polarization of hard X-rays from solar flares


The polarization of hard solar X-radiation (> 10 keV) is calculated on the assumption that electrons get a non-isotropic velocity distribution in the initial phase of a flare. The brems-strahlung generated by nonthermal electrons spiralling around magnetic field lines with discrete pitch angles is considerably polarized if observed at approximately right angles to the magnetic field. In the energy range from 10 to 50 keV the degree of polarization is not strongly dependent on the photon energy. For pitch-angle distributions of the form sin2α and cos2α, the polarization has opposite signs; it decreases appreciably at high photon energies. The observation of X-ray polarization will be useful in deducing the physical conditions in flares.

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Haug, E. Polarization of hard X-rays from solar flares. Sol Phys 25, 425–434 (1972).

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  • Magnetic Field
  • Flare
  • Energy Range
  • Photon Energy
  • Initial Phase