Searching for the Long-Duration Gamma-Ray Burst Progenitor

  • Robert Allan Mesler III

Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 1-12
  3. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 13-39
  4. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 41-72
  5. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 73-86
  6. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 87-98
  7. Robert Allan Mesler III
    Pages 99-103
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 105-111

About this book


Nominated as an outstanding thesis by the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of New Mexico, this thesis seeks to identify the gamma-ray burst (GRB) progenitor.  GRBs are extragalactic explosions that briefly outshine entire galaxies, but the mechanism that can release that much energy over a < 100 second burst is still a mystery.  The leading candidate for the GRB progenitor is currently a massive star which collapses to form a black hole–accretion disk system that powers the GRB.  GRB afterglows, however, do not always show the expected behavior of a relativistic blast wave interacting with the stellar wind that such a progenitor should have produced before its collapse.

In this book, the author uses the Zeus-MP astrophysical hydrodynamics code to model the environment around a stellar progenitor prior to the burst.  He then develops a new semi-analytic MHD and emission model to produce light curves for GRBs encountering these realistic density profiles.  The work ultimately shows that the circumburst medium surrounding a GRB at the time of the explosion is much more complex than a pure wind, and that observed afterglows are entirely consistent with a large subset of proposed stellar progenitors.


Circumburst medium Circumstellar shell GRB alterglow observations GRB physics GRB progenitor Gamma-Ray burst Relativistic blast wave Zeus-MP hydrodynamics code

Authors and affiliations

  • Robert Allan Mesler III
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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