Very High Efficiency Photospheric Emission in Long-Duration γ-Ray Bursts

Type Journal Article
Names Davide Lazzati, Brian J. Morsony, Mitchell C. Begelman
Publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 700
Issue 1
Pages L47-L50
Date July 1, 2009
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009ApJ...700L..47L
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We numerically analyze the evolution of a long-duration gamma-ray burst jet as it leaves the progenitor star and propagates to the photospheric radius, where radiation can be released. We find that the interaction of the relativistic material with the progenitor star has influences well beyond the stellar surface. Tangential collimation shocks are observed throughout the jet evolution, out to about 100 stellar radii, which is the whole range of our simulation. We find that the jet is internally hot at the photospheric radius and we compute the photospheric emission. The photosphere is a very efficient radiator, capable of converting more than half of the total energy of the jet into radiation. We show that bright photospheres are a common feature of jets born inside massive progenitor stars and that this effect can explain the high radiative efficiency observed in long-duration bursts.
Tags GAMMA RAYS: BURSTS, Methods: Numerical, RADIATION MECHANISMS: THERMAL, hydrodynamics, relativity
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