The WALOP polarimeters

Polarimetry, as the name suggests, is the science of measuring the light's polarization. The degree of polarization (DOP or p) measures the portion of light that is polarized. Based on this measure, light can be perfectly polarized (p =100%), partially polarized (0% ≤ p ≤ 100%) or unpolarized (p = 0%).

Polarimetry with PASIPHAE will be achieved using 2 cutting-edge-technology polarimeters named WALOPs (Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeters). One will be installed at the Skinakas 1.3 m telescope and the other at SAAO's 1m telescope. Both will have a field of view of 30 × 30 arcminutes and will be able to measure polarization of stars brighter than R=16.5 magnitude with a sensitivity in p of ≤ 0.1%.

The instruments are currently under construction in IUCAA. The optical design is being carried-out by the PhD students John Andrew Kypriotakis and Siddharth Maharana, mostly using the ZEMAX platform. The same students are running lab tests on the optical elements, to ensure the quality of the instruments. The electronics controller to be used is the IUCAA's IDSAC controller. The expected delivery period for the instruments is the final trimester of 2018.

Following are some preliminary schematics of the instruments appearance:

Side-Projected view of PASIPHAE's WALOP-North instrument.

3D Telescope-view of PASIPHAE's WALOP-North instrument (some components hidden on purpose).

We are hiring

The Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas, the foremost research organization in Greece, invites applications for 3 postdoctoral positions for the PASIPHAE project.

We are building a team with diverse expertise (both observational and theoretical), including the Galactic magnetic field, optical polarimetry, numerical and statistical analysis (including the numerical solutions of complex boundary-value problems and/or machine learning algorithms), interstellar medium astrophysics, high-energy astrophysics including gamma-ray and cosmic-ray astrophysics, and stellar astrophysics (with emphasis on intrinsic stellar polarizations). Applicants with strong background in any of these fields are encouraged to apply.

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