Lorenzo Moncelsi


Studying the influence of magnetic fields in star formation with submillimeter polarimetry


Enzo Pascale, Giorgio Savini



Submillimeter polarimetry provides an effective means of studying the role of magnetic fields in the earliest, highly obscured stages of star formation, via the polarized emission from aligned elongated dust grains. The Cardiff Astronomy Instrumentation Group has pioneered the development of submillimeter and millimeter-wave polarimeters by designing, manufacturing, and testing crystal and metal-mesh achromatic half-wave plates (HWPs), as well as their dielectric and meta-material anti-reflation coatings. These cutting-edge technologies have been successfully implemented in several ongoing experiments (e.g., BLAST-Pol, SCUBA-2, PILOT). Here I review the BLAST-Pol polarimeter and its ability to recover Stokes Q (or U) from a single scan, while different HWP positions allow measurement of the other one through polarization rotation. I also present pre-flight and preliminary in-flight polarization calibration, which will yield polarization measurements of unprecedented accur! acy at 250, 350, and 500 microns