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Synchrotron radiation beams at energies of 7, 8, and 11.5 keV were transmitted through straight and bent capillary fibers of the type used to focus or collimate x rays. The purpose was to learn if the multiple wall collisions during transmission would attenuate the polarization of the incident beam. The emergent polarization was determined using 90° Rayleigh–Thomson scattering by a carbon foil into a proportional counter. The results clearly showed that polarized x rays incident on a capillary fiber retained their polarization after transmission. Hence, focusing or collimating optics can be used with polarized x rays for background reduction in x-ray fluorescence measurements. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.