1,278 research outputs found

    Probing motion of fast radio burst sources by timing strongly lensed repeaters

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    Given the possible repetitive nature of fast radio bursts (FRBs), their cosmological origin, and their high occurrence, detection of strongly lensed sources due to intervening galaxy lenses is possible with forthcoming radio surveys. We show that if multiple images of a repeating source are resolved with VLBI, using a method independent of lens modeling, accurate timing could reveal non-uniform motion, either physical or apparent, of the emission spot. This can probe the physical nature of FRBs and their surrounding environments, constraining scenarios including orbital motion around a stellar companion if FRBs require a compact star in a special system, and jet-medium interactions for which the location of the emission spot may randomly vary. The high timing precision possible for FRBs (ms\sim {\rm ms}) compared to the typical time delays between images in galaxy lensing (10days\gtrsim 10\, {\rm days}) enables the measurement of tiny fractional changes in the delays (109\sim 10^{-9}), and hence the detection of time-delay variations induced by relative motions between the source, the lens, and the Earth. We show that uniform cosmic peculiar velocities only cause the delay time to drift linearly, and that the effect from the Earth's orbital motion can be accurately subtracted, thus enabling a search for non-trivial source motion. For a timing accuracy of 1\sim 1\,ms and a repetition rate (of detected bursts) 0.05\sim 0.05 per day of a single FRB source, non-uniform displacement 0.11\gtrsim 0.1 - 1\,AU of the emission spot perpendicular to the line of sight is detectable if repetitions are seen over a period of hundreds of days.Comment: 21 pages, 6 figures, 1 table. New version accepted to ApJ with abstract revised, typo corrected, and references adde

    Implications from ASKAP Fast Radio Burst Statistics

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    Although there has recently been tremendous progress in studies of fast radio bursts (FRBs), the nature of their progenitors remains a mystery. We study the fluence and dispersion measure (DM) distributions of the ASKAP sample to better understand their energetics and statistics. We first consider a simplified model of a power-law volumetric rate per unit isotropic energy dN/dE ~ E^{-gamma} with a maximum energy E_max in a uniform Euclidean Universe. This provides analytic insights for what can be learnt from these distributions. We find that the observed cumulative DM distribution scales as N(>DM) ~ DM^{5-2*gamma} (for gamma > 1) until a maximum value DM_max above which bursts near E_max fall below the fluence threshold of a given telescope. Comparing this model with the observed fluence and DM distributions, we find a reasonable fit for gamma ~ 1.7 and E_max ~ 10^{33} erg/Hz. We then carry out a full Bayesian analysis based on a Schechter rate function with cosmological factor. We find roughly consistent results with our analytical approach, although with large errors on the inferred parameters due to the small sample size. The power-law index and the maximum energy are constrained to be gamma = 1.6 +/- 0.3 and log(E_max) [erg/Hz] = 34.1 +1.1 -0.7 (68% confidence), respectively. From the survey exposure time, we further infer a cumulative local volumetric rate of log N(E > 10^{32} erg/Hz) [Gpc^{-3} yr^{-1}] = 2.6 +/- 0.4 (68% confidence). The methods presented here will be useful for the much larger FRB samples expected in the near future to study their distributions, energetics, and rates.Comment: ApJ accepted. Expanded beyond the scope of the earlier version into 8 pages, 7 figures. Following referees' comments, we included a full Bayesian analysis based on a Schechter rate function with cosmological factor. The PDF of the inferred model parameters are presented by MCMC sampling in Figure 4 (the most important result). We also discussed the completeness of ASKAP sample in Section