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Physics Colloquium Series: Professor Henric Krawczynski
(Physics Lecture Series) Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Physics
“Experimental and theoretical astroparticle physics”
Dr. Krawczynski’s experimental work includes the development of the balloon-borne X-Calibur scattering X-ray polarimeter launched in Fall 2016 and is scheduled to fly again in Dec. 2018 from McMurdo in the antarctic. X-ray polarimetry has seen a growing interest in recent years. Improvements in detector technology and focusing X-ray optics now enable sensitive astrophysical X-ray polarization measurements. These measurements will provide new insights into the processes at work in accreting black holes, the emission of X-rays from neutron stars and magnetars, and the structure of AGN jets.
On X-Calibur, an X-ray mirror with a focal length of 8 m focuses X-rays onto the detector, which consists of a plastic scattering element surrounded by Cadmium- Zinc-Telluride detectors, which absorb and record the scattered X-rays. In this talk, Dr. Krawczynski describes the design, construction, and test of the telescope structure, as well as its performance during a 25-hour flight from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.