Designing, constructing, and testing an X-ray polarimeter
Author(s)Jenks, Kevin P. (Kevin Patrick)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
MetadataShow full item record
X-ray astronomy has been an important field since its birth 50 years ago. However, Xray polarization measurements have been almost non-existent, especially when compared to the amount of polarimetry being performed in the other bands of the spectrum. One method of filtering a specific energy of polarized X-rays involves reflecting these X-rays off of a correctly tuned multilayer mirror at a specific grazing angle. A design for a small spacecraft incorporating this type of instrument has been proposed, but the effectiveness of using multilayer mirrors as polarization filters has never been tested in a laboratory setting. A design for using an existing X-ray beamline as a means of testing this method was developed. The necessary modifications to both the source and detector end were made, but due to an inability to completely eliminate small misalignments in the system, the full tests of the multilayer mirrors could not be performed. Further research could be performed to identify and correct the cause of the misalignments and continue the evaluation of the multilayer mirrors as a polarimeter.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 24).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology