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Paper: Be Star Disks from a Polarimetric Perspective
Volume: 506, Bright Emissaries: Be Stars as Messengers of Star-Disk Physics
Page: 165
Authors: Jones, C. E.; Halonen, R. J.; Demers, Z. T.
Abstract: The intrinsic linearly polarized light arising from electron scattering of stellar radiation in a non-spherically symmetric distribution of gas is a characterizing feature of classical Be stars. The spectropolarimetric signature provides a means for directly probing the physical and geometric properties of the gaseous material enveloping these rapidly rotating massive stars. Using a Monte Carlo radiative transfer computation and a self-consistent radiative equilibrium solution for the circumstellar gas, we explore the role of this observable property in investigating the dynamic nature of classical Be star disks. In particular, we focus on the potential for providing polarimetric diagnostics of mass-loss events and for tracing the evolution of the gas in a circumstellar disk. This context for interpreting the observed linear polarization signature can play an important role in identifying the physical process(es) which govern the formation and dissipation of these disks.
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