Weak lensing by large-scale structure and the polarization properties of distant radio sources.
SURPI G.C. and HARARI D.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We estimate the effects of weak lensing by large-scale density inhomogeneities and long-wavelength gravitational waves on the polarization properties of electromagnetic radiation as it propagates from cosmologically distant sources. Scalar (density) fluctuations do not rotate either the plane of polarization of the electromagnetic radiation or the source image. They do, however, produce an appreciable shear that distorts the image shape, leading to an apparent rotation of the image orientation relative to its plane of polarization. In sources with large ellipticity, the apparent rotation is rather small, of the order (in radians) of the dimensionless shear. The effect is larger at smaller source eccentricities. A shear of 1% can induce apparent rotations of around 5° in radio sources with the smallest eccentricity among those with a significant degree of integrated linear polarization. We discuss the possibility that weak lensing by shear with an rms value around or below 5% may be the cause for the dispersion in the direction of integrated linear polarization of cosmologically distant radio sources away from the perpendicular to their major axis, as expected from models of their magnetic fields. An rms shear larger than 5% would be incompatible with the observed correlation between polarization properties and source orientation in distant radio galaxies and quasars. Gravity waves do rotate both the plane of polarization and the source image. Their weak-lensing effects, however, are negligible.
Cosmology: Theory - Cosmology: Gravitational Lensing - Cosmology: Large-Scale Structure of Universe - Polarization - Waves