New evidence for Dicke's superradiance in the 6.7 GHz methanol spectral line in the interstellar medium

Abstract

We present new evidence for superradiance (SR) in the methanol 6.7 GHz spectral line for three different star-forming regions: S255IR-NIRS3, G24.329+0.144, and Cepheus A. Our analysis shows that some of the flux–density flares exhibiting fast rise times and asymmetric light curves reported in these sources can naturally be explained within the context of SR. When a threshold for the inverted population column density is exceeded in a maser-hosting region, the radiation mode switches from one regulated by stimulated emission (maser) to SR. Superradiance, as a more efficient energy release mechanism, manifests itself through strong bursts of radiation emanating from spatially compact regions. Elevated inverted population densities and the initiation of SR can be due to a change in radiative pumping. Here, we show that an increase in the pump rate and the inverted population density of only a factor of a few results in a significant increase in radiation. While the changes in the pump rate can take place over a few hundred days, the rise in radiation flux density when SR is initiated is drastic and happens over a much shorter time-scale

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