Understanding radio polarimetry. III. Interpreting the IAU/IEEE definitions of the Stokes parameters
Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: Send offprint request to: J.P. Hamaker; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 22 October 1995
In two companion papers (Paper I, Hamaker et al. 1996; Paper II, Sault et al. 1996), a new theory of radio-interferometric polarimetry and its application to the calibration of interferometer arrays are presented. To complete our study of radio polarimetry, we examine here the definition of the Stokes parameters adopted by Commission 40 of the IAU (1974) and the way this definition works out in the mathematical equations. Using the formalism of Paper I, we give a simplified derivation of the frequently-cited `black-box' formula originally derived by Morris et al. (1964). We show that their original version is in error in the sign of Stokes V, the correct sign being that given by Weiler (1973) and Thompson et al. (1986).
Key words: methods: analytical / methods: data analysis / techniques: interferometers / techniques: polarimeters / polarization
© European Southern Observatory (ESO), 1996