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ON THE ORIGIN OF GAMMA RAY BURSTS

By Nir J. Shaviv and Arnon Dar

Abstract

We propose that repeated photoexcitation/ionization of high Z atoms of highly relativistic flows by star-light in dense stellar regions followed by emission of decay/recombination photons, which are beamed and boosted to γ ray energies in the observer frame, produce gamma ray bursts (GRBs). We show that this overlooked mechanism, which is able to convert efficiently baryonic kinetic energy release in merger or accretion induced collapse of neutron stars into cosmological GRBs, reproduces remarkably well all their main observed properties. In spite of the enormous body of information which has been accumulated on gamma ray bursts (GRBs) since their discovery 35 years ago, their origin is still a complete mystery [1]. Their observed isotropy in the sky, deficiency of faint bursts and the lack of concentration towards the Galactic center, in the Galactic disk and in the direction of M31, strongly suggest [2] that they are cosmological in origin [3]. A cosmological origin implies [4] that GRBs have enormous luminosities during short periods of time, L ≈ 10 50 d 2 28χφ6∆Ω erg s −1, (1) where d = d2810 28 cm is their luminosity distance, φ = 10 −6 φ6 ergs cm −2 s −1 is their measure

Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.317.6988
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