Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 467, 3876-3886 (2017/June-1)
Polarization swings in blazars.
LYUTIKOV M. and KRAVCHENKO E.V.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a model of blazar variability that can both reproduce smooth large polarization angle swings and at the same time allow for the seemingly random behaviour of synchrotron fluxes, polarization fraction and, occasionally, π/2 polarization jumps. We associate the blazar flaring activity with a jet carrying helical magnetic fields and propagating along a variable direction (and possibly with a changing bulk Lorentz factor). The model predicts that for various jet trajectories (i) electric vector position angle (EVPA) can experience large smooth temporal variations, while at the same time polarization fraction (Π) can be highly variable; (ii) Π ∼ 0 near sudden EVPA jumps of 90°, but can also remain constant for large, smoother EVPA swings; (iii) the total angle of EVPA rotation can be arbitrarily large; and (iv) intensity I is usually maximal at points of fastest EVPA changes, but can have a minimum. Thus, even for a regular, deterministic motion of a steadily emitting jet, the observed properties can vary in a non-monotonic and/or seemingly stochastic way. Intrinsic fluctuations of the emissivity will further complicate the intensity profiles, but are expected to preserve the polarization structure.