Search for polarization from the prompt gamma-ray emission of GRB 041219a with SPI on INTEGRAL
Kalemci, Emrah and Boggs, Steven E. and Kouveliotou, Chryssa and Finger, Mark H. and Baring, Matthew (2007) Search for polarization from the prompt gamma-ray emission of GRB 041219a with SPI on INTEGRAL. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 169 (1). pp. 75-82. ISSN 0004637
Measuring the polarization of the prompt γ-ray emission from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) can significantly improve our understanding of both the GRB emission mechanisms as well as the underlying engine driving the explosion. We searched for polarization in the prompt γ-ray emission of GRB 041219a with the SPI instrument on INTEGRAL. Using multiple-detector coincidence events in the 100-350 keV energy band, our analysis yields a polarization fraction from this GRB of 98%+/-33%. Statistically, we cannot claim a polarization detection from this source. Moreover, different event selection criteria lead to even less significant polarization fractions, e.g., lower polarization fractions are obtained when higher energies are included in the analysis. We cannot strongly rule out the possibility that the measured modulation is dominated by instrumental systematics. Therefore, SPI observations of GRB 041219a do not significantly constrain GRB models. However, this measurement demonstrates the capability of SPI to measure polarization, as well as the techniques developed for this analysis.
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