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Observational Properties of Cosmic γ-Ray Bursts

  • Kevin Hurley
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 598)

Abstract

Cosmic γ-ray bursts are reviewed, with emphasis on the phenomenology in the X- and γ-ray ranges. Bursts last from around 10 ms to over 1000 s, with complex time histories which defy any coherent explanation, although there is good evidence for a bimodal distribution. Energy spectra span the range from below 10 keV to over 10 GeV with shapes that can be defined with a relatively simple function, although the ratio of the X-ray to γ-ray energy varies widely from one burst to another. The isotropy and inhomogeneity of the burster spatial distribution was the first indication that bursts were at cosmological distances; this has now been confirmed by direct redshift measurements. Some of the future uses of bursts for the study of the early Universe are discussed, as well as some of the remaining challenges in understanding their nature.

Keywords

Time History Light Curve Observational Property Burst Source Cosmological Distance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Hurley
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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