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Extreme Physics Explorer: A Mission to Test Basic Physics. An International, multi-agency mission of opportunity?. Martin Elvis Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. What is the Future of X-ray Binary Research?. Fields go through 3 phases: Discovery : mapping basic properties
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An International, multi-agency mission of opportunity?
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Widespread excitement rockets,UHURU to EXOSAT
Specialist interest onlyEXOSAT toRossi XTE
Widespread interestbegun byChandra, XMM-Newton
testing of Extreme Physics?
Reynolds C.Black Holes, Magnetars & Neutron Stars
are cosmic laboratories for Extreme Physics:
Frame dragging, metric in strong gravity -- AGNs, BH binaries
deDeo & Psaltis, 2003 astro-ph/0302095
Hoogerwerf et al. 2004 ApJ 160 411
z=0.35Gravitational redshift at neutron star surface
Cottam J. Paerels F. & Mendez M., 2002, Nature, 420, 51
EX Hya: HETG R~500Dvradial= 58.2 +/- 3.7 km/s
Relative velocity only requires stability
not absolute calibration
+/-0.04, 10% errors
Spectrum integrated over spin period, several bursts
Lattimer & Prakash 2000 Phys. Rep. 333, 121.Spectroscopy: NS Equation of State
spin Doppler shift
Thanks to Enrico Costa
Polarimetry gives the orientation of an accretion disk on th sky
The Polarization angle from an accretion disk in the ‘Newtonian’ case is either parallel to the major axis of the sky-projected disk (positive) or parallel to the sky-projected disk symmetry axis (negative)
Sunyaev & Titarchuk, 1985
If the field is strong enough polarization is altered by gravitational effects.
The polarization plane rotates continuously with energy because of General Relativistic effects. This is a signature of the presence of a black-hole Stark & Connors, Connors& Stark, 1977, Connors, Piran & Stark, 1980.
Compact object = ‘accelerator’
X-ray telescope = ‘experiment’
~1 eV spectral bins x 10 phase bins
Crab = 104 ct/s/sq.m
XRBs ~103 ct/s/sq.m
A mission designed to study physics in the extreme environments provided by neutron stars and black holes
including magnetars, transients
George Fraser & Gareth Price 2003, priv.comm.
7 m2 @ 1 keV
3 m2 @ 10 keVMicrochannel Plate Mirrors
40Long Focal Length
Hi E foci
Lo E foci
Optical axisOptimizing Microcalorimeter Energy resolution
~10% of 1 keV graze angle
Focal Plane layout
Thanks to Enrico CostaOne Polarimeter Option: Micro Pattern Gas Detector
Thanks to Enrico CostaA fast evolving technique
Chip I (2003)2101 pixel; pitch80mm; 4 mm Ø
Chip II (2004) 20000 pixel; pitch80mm; 11 × 11 mm2
Chp III (2006) 105600 pixel: pitch 50 mm 15 × 15 mm2
Morover in Chip III each pixel has independent trigger and capability to convert only triggered channels →very fast read-out, few msec
Black Hole or
Mass donor star
X-ray binaryExtreme Physics Explorer
The next accelerator