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Analytic detection thresholds for measurements of linearly polarized intensity using rotation measure synthesis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Hales



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2012.

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A fully analytic statistical formalism does not yet exist to describe radio wavelength measurements of linearly polarized intensity that are produced using rotation measure synthesis. In this work we extend the analytic formalism for standard linear polarization, namely that describing measurements of the quadrature sum of Stokes Q and U intensities, to the rotation measure synthesis environment. We derive the probability density function and expectation value for Faraday-space polarization measurements for both the case where true underlying polarized emission is present within unresolved Faraday components, and for the limiting case where no such emission is present. We then derive relationships to quantify the statistical significance of linear polarization measurements in terms of standard Gaussian statistics. The formalism developed in this work will be useful for setting signal-to-noise ratio detection thresholds for measurements of linear polarization, for the analysis of polarized sources potentially exhibiting multiple Faraday components and for the development of polarization debiasing schemes. © 2012 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hales CA, Gaensler BM, Norris RP, Middelberg E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Year: 2012

Volume: 424

Issue: 3

Pages: 2160-2172

Online publication date: 11/08/2012

Date deposited: 30/06/2017

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21372.x


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