On the origin of gamma-ray bursts
2008 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions. Series A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering science, ISSN 1364-503X, Vol. 366, no 1884, 4405-4416 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic explosions in the Universe, occurring at cosmological distances. The initial phase of the emission from these bursts is predominantly of gamma rays and stems from a highly relativistic outflow. The nature of this emission is still under debate. Here, I present the interpretation that the peak in the photon spectrum can be attributed to the black-body emission of the photosphere of the outflow, having a temperature of approximately 10 9 K. An additional non-thermal spectral component can be attributed to additional dissipation of the kinetic energy in the outflow. This two-component model can be well fitted to most instantaneous spectra. Interestingly, the thermal component exhibits a recurring behaviour over emission pulse structures. Both the temperature and the energy flux vary as broken power laws. During the pre-break phase, the temperature is approximately constant while the energy flux rises. Furthermore, the ratio of the observed thermal flux to the emergent flux increases as a power law over the whole pulse. It is argued that these observations hold the key to our understanding of the prompt emission and the properties of the site from which it emanates.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 366, no 1884, 4405-4416 p.
gamma-rays bursts, thermal emission, non-thermal emission
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-46988DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2008.0155ISI: 000260231900005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-55849151676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-46988DiVA: diva2:455216
QC 201111092011-11-092011-11-072011-11-09Bibliographically approved