A new interpretation of emission-like features in γ-ray burst spectra

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Abstract

The spectra of γ-ray bursts, which are generally thought to result from a transient phenomenon on a neutron star, extend from the optical up to γ-ray energies. It has recently been suggested1 that the whole spectrum may be due to irradiation of a reprocessing and reflecting boundary near a source of power-law γ-rays with a low-energy cutoff E0 ≈ 300-500 keV. In this picture, the emission at intermediate energy (10 keV≲E≲300-500 keV) results from the reflection of incipient high-energy γ-rays by the surface layers of the underlying neutron star and/or its accretion disk. Some bursts display high-energy (∼400-keV) features, which may be gravitationally redshifted photons produced from the annihilation of electron-positron pairs. This explanation, however, has been open to criticism. I show that an alternative explanation for the high-energy features may be the superposition of the incipient and reflected spectral components near E0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-660
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume336
Issue number6200
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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bursts
rays
neutron stars
energy
electron-positron pairs
accretion disks
surface layers
cut-off
irradiation
photons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

A new interpretation of emission-like features in γ-ray burst spectra. / Melia, Fulvio.

In: Nature, Vol. 336, No. 6200, 1988, p. 658-660.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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