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Gamma-Ray Bursts: The Underlying Model

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

Abstract

A pedagogical derivation is presented of the “fireball” model of γ-ray bursts, according to which the observable effects are due to the dissipation of the kinetic energy of a relativistically expanding wind, a “fireball.” The main open questions are emphasized, and key afterglow observations, that provide support for this model, are briefly discussed. The relativistic outflow is, most likely, driven by the accretion of a fraction of a solar mass onto a newly born (few) solar mass black hole. The observed radiation is produced once the plasma has expanded to a scale much larger than that of the underlying “engine,” and is therefore largely independent of the details of the progenitor, whose gravitational collapse leads to fireball formation. Several progenitor scenarios, and the prospects for discrimination among them using future observations, are discussed. The production in γ-ray burst fireballs of high energy protons and neutrinos, and the implications of burst neutrino detection by kilometer-scale telescopes under construction, are briefly discussed.

Keywords

Lorentz Factor Reverse Shock Synchrotron Emission Internal Shock High Energy Proton 
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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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eli Waxman
    • 1
  1. 1.Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael

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