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Paper: Spectropolarimetry of Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables and White Dwarfs with the SALT
Volume: 334, 14th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
Page: 415
Authors: Buckley, D.A.H.; O'Donoghue, D.; Potter, S.B.; Nordsieck, K.H.
Abstract: Polarimetry will be a niche capability provided by the Prime Focus Imaging Spectrograph (PFIS) on SALT (the Southern African Large Telescope). All possible polarimetric observing modes will be offered at spectral resolutions R ≤ 6000, including time-resolved all-Stokes spectropolarimetry. PFIS polarimetry will therefore be well suited to the study of magnetic white dwarfs, particularly those in binary systems like the magnetic cataclysmic variables (mCVs). Such observations are key to our understanding of the accretion mechanisms operating in these systems. Indeed, for the first time, PFIS will allow us to undertake simultaneous all-Stokes observations, with unprecedented time resolution, through synchronization of the waveplate rotation with on-chip charge shuffling. Combined with SALT's large aperture, PFIS spectropolarimetry of magnetic white dwarfs will provide an enhanced capability for the study of these systems in the southern hemisphere. This paper presents some of the details of the PFIS spectropolarimetric capabilities and discusses its application to observations of magnetic white dwarfs, particularly those in mCVs. Such observations will allow for far more quantitative modelling of the accretion process in mCVs than in the past through the utilization of so-called "Stokes imaging" in combination with traditional Doppler tomography.
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