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Optical polarization of a complete sample of radio sources
Impey, C. D.; Lawrence, C. R.; Tapia, S.
AA(Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ), AB(Owens Valley Radio Observatory; Palomar Observatory, Pasadena, CA), AC(Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ; MIT, Lexington, MA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 375, July 1, 1991, p. 46-68. Research supported by Space Telescope Science Institute. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Optical Polarization, Optical Properties, Radiant Flux Density, Radio Sources (Astronomy), Bl Lacertae Objects, Spectral Emission, Stellar Cores, Very Long Base Interferometry
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The radio and optical properties of a complete 5 GHz sample of strong radio sources are studied. High polarization is strongly correlated with the fraction of the total 5 GHz flux density found in a milliarcsec core. The detection rate of radio galaxies containing optical cores with high polarization is consistent with the hypothesis that all radio sources contain optically polarized cores, with strength proportional to the core radio flux density. High optical polarization, optical power-law fraction, line-to-continuum ratio, emission lines of small equivalent widths, and large amplitude flux variability are all strongly correlated with the fraction of the 5 GHz radio flux density that is unresolved on VLBI scales. The distributions of these properties are well matched by a model where radio and optical radiation have the same beaming geometry and with Doppler boosting of a factor of 10-100 in the optical. A striking alignment of the position angle of the VLBI structure axis and the position angle of optical polarization in highly polarized sources is confirmed.

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