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Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Roger W. Romani - IXPE: Our First Look Around the X-ray Polarized Sky

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For 50 years, the only astronomical source with measured soft X-ray polarization
was the Crab nebula, initially detected with sounding rockets. Now
we finally have the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission on orbit, which 
has already measured complex X-ray polarization signals from dozens of neutron 
star and black hole sources, with over 100x the sensitivity of the initial
experiments. I summarize the motivation for such polarization studies,
the technology advances that made IXPE possible, and some exciting results
from our first year's program. As the wider community gets involved,
additional novel probes of high energy astrophysical sources are expected soon.