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The connection between thermal and non-thermal emission in gamma-ray bursts: general considerations and GRB090902B as a case study
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Particle and Astroparticle Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9769-8016
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
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2012 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 420, no 1, 468-482 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Photospheric (thermal) emission is inherent to the gamma-ray burst (GRB) 'fireball' model. We show here that inclusion of this component in the analysis of the GRB prompt emission phase naturally explains some of the prompt GRB spectra seen by the Fermi satellite over its entire energy band. The sub-MeV peak is explained as multicolour blackbody emission, and the high-energy tail, extending up to the GeV band, results from roughly similar contributions of synchrotron emission, synchrotron self-Compton and Comptonization of the thermal photons by energetic electrons originating after dissipation of the kinetic energy above the photosphere. We show how this analysis method results in a complete, self-consistent picture of the physical conditions at both emission sites of the thermal and non-thermal radiation. We study the connection between the thermal and non-thermal parts of the spectrum, and show how the values of the free model parameters are deduced from the data. We demonstrate our analysis method on GRB090902B: we deduce a Lorentz factor in the range 920 <= eta <= 1070, photospheric radius r(ph) similar or equal to 7.2-8.4 x 10(11) cm and dissipation radius r(gamma) >= 3.5-4.1 x 10(15) cm. By comparison to afterglow data, we deduce that a large fraction epsilon(d) approximate to 85-95 per cent of the kinetic energy is dissipated, and that a large fraction, similar to equipartition of this energy, is carried by the electrons and the magnetic field. This high value of epsilon(d) questions the 'internal shock' scenario as the main energy dissipation mechanism for this GRB.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 420, no 1, 468-482 p.
Keyword [en]
plasmas, radiation mechanisms: thermal, radiative transfer, scattering, gamma-ray burst: general
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-81233DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20052.xISI: 000301284600053ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84856232508OAI: diva2:497508
QC 20120411Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-04-11Bibliographically approved

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