1,510 research outputs found

    GRB 140206A: the most distant polarized Gamma-Ray Burst

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    The nature of the prompt gamma-ray emission of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) is still far from being completely elucidated. The measure of linear polarization is a powerful tool that can be used to put further constraints on the content and magnetization of the GRB relativistic outflows, as well as on the radiation processes at work. To date only a handful of polarization measurements are available for the prompt emission of GRBs. Here we present the analysis of the prompt emission of GRB 140206A, obtained with INTEGRAL/IBIS, Swift/BAT, and Fermi/GBM. Using INTEGRAL/IBIS as a Compton polarimeter we were able to constrain the linear polarization level of the second peak of this GRB as being larger than 28% at 90% c.l. We also present the GRB afterglow optical spectroscopy obtained at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), which allowed us the measure the distance of this GRB, z=2.739. This distance value together with the polarization measure obtained with IBIS, allowed us to derive the deepest and most reliable limit to date (xi <1x10-16) on the possibility of Lorentz Invariance Violation, measured through the vacuum birefringence effect on a cosmological source.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables, accepted for publication in MNRAS. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1303.418

    The first giant flare from SGR 1806-20: observations with the INTEGRAL SPI Anti-Coincidence Shield

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    A giant flare from the Soft Gamma-ray Repeater SGR 1806-20 has been detected by several satellites on 2004 December 27. This tremendous outburst, the first one observed from this source, was a hundred times more powerful than the two previous giant flares from SGR 0525-66 and SGR 1900+14. We report the results obtained for this event with the Anticoincidence Shield of the SPI spectrometer on board the INTEGRAL satellite, which provides a high-statistics light curve at E>~80 keV. The flare started with a very strong pulse, which saturated the detector for ~0.7 s, and whose backscattered radiation from the Moon was detected 2.8 s later. This was followed by a ~400 s long tail modulated at the neutron star rotation period of 7.56 s. The tail fluence corresponds to an energy in photons above 3 keV of 1.6x10^44 (d/15 kpc)^2 erg. This is of the same order of the energy emitted in the pulsating tails of the two giant flares seen from other soft repeaters, despite the hundredfold larger overall emitted energy of the SGR 1806-20 giant flare. Long lasting (~1 hour) hard X-ray emission, decaying in time as t^-0.85, and likely associated to the SGR 1806-20 giant flare afterglow has also been detected.Comment: revised version - Accepted for publication on The Astrophysical Journal Letter

    The X-ray spectrum of the bursting atoll source 4U~1728-34 observed with INTEGRAL

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    We present for the first time a study of the 3-200 keV broad band spectra of the bursting atoll source 4U 1728-34 (GX 354-0) along its hardness intensity diagram. The analysis was done using the INTEGRAL public and Galactic Center deep exposure data ranging from February 2003 to October 2004. The spectra are well described by a thermal Comptonization model with an electron temperature from 35 keV to 3 keV and Thomson optical depth, tau_T, from 0.5 to 5 in a slab geometry. The source undergoes a transition from an intermediate/hard to a soft state where the source luminosity increases from 2 to 12% of Eddington. We have also detected 36 type I X-ray bursts two of which show photospheric radius expansion. The energetic bursts with photospheric radius expansion occurred at an inferred low mass accretion rate per unit area of \dot m ~ 1.7x10E3 g/cm2/s, while the others at a higher one between 2.4x10E3 - 9.4x10E3 g/cm2/s. For 4U1728-34 the bursts' total fluence, and the bursts' peak flux are anti-correlated with the mass accretion rate. The type I X-ray bursts involve pure helium burning either during the hard state, or during the soft state of the source.Comment: 11 pages, 7 figures, and 2 tables. Accepted for publication in A&

    In-flight calibration of the INTEGRAL/IBIS mask

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    Since the release of the INTEGRAL Offline Scientific Analysis (OSA) software version 9.0, the ghost busters module has been introduced in the INTEGRAL/IBIS imaging procedure, leading to an improvement of the sensitivity around bright sources up to a factor of 7. This module excludes in the deconvolution process the IBIS/ISGRI detector pixels corresponding to the projection of a bright source through mask elements affected by some defects. These defects are most likely associated with screws and glue fixing the IBIS mask to its support. Following these major improvements introduced in OSA 9, a second order correction is still required to further remove the residual noise, now at a level of 0.2-1% of the brightest source in the field of view. In order to improve our knowledge of the IBIS mask transparency, a calibration campaign has been carried out during 2010-2012. We present here the analysis of these data, together with archival observations of the Crab and Cyg X-1, that allowed us to build a composite image of the mask defects and to investigate the origin of the residual noise in the IBIS/ISGRI images. Thanks to this study, we were able to point out a simple modification of the ISGRI analysis software that allows to significantly improve the quality of the images in which bright sources are detected at the edge of the field of view. Moreover, a refinement of the area excluded by the ghost busters module is considered, and preliminary results show improvements to be further tested. Finally, this study indicates further directions to be investigated for improving the ISGRI sensitivity, such as taking into account the thickness of the screws in the mask model or studying the possible discrepancy between the modeled and actual mask element bridges.Comment: accepted for publication in the proceedings of "An INTEGRAL view of the high-energy sky (the first 10 years)" 9th INTEGRAL Workshop, October 15-19, 2012, Paris, France, in Proceedings of Science (INTEGRAL 2012), Eds. A. Goldwurm, F. Lebrun and C. Winkler, (http://pos.sissa.it/cgi-bin/reader/conf.cgi?confid=176), id 154; 6 pages, 4 figures, see the PoS website for the full resolution versio

    The discovery, monitoring and environment of SGR J1935+2154

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    We report on the discovery of a new member of the magnetar class, SGR J1935+2154, and on its timing and spectral properties measured by an extensive observational campaign carried out between July 2014 and March 2015 with Chandra and XMM-Newton (11 pointings). We discovered the spin period of SGR J1935+2154 through the detection of coherent pulsations at a period of about 3.24s. The magnetar is slowing-down at a rate of 1.43(1)x10^{-11} s/s and with a decreasing trend due to a negative second period derivative of -3.5(7)x10^{-19} s/s^2. This implies a surface dipolar magnetic field strength of about 2.2x10^{14} G, a characteristic age of about 3.6kyr and, a spin-down luminosity L_{sd} of about 1.7x10^{34} erg/s. The source spectrum is well modelled by a blackbody with temperature of about 500eV plus a power-law component with photon index of about 2. The source showed a moderate long-term variability, with a flux decay of about 25\% during the first four months since its discovery, and a re-brightening of the same amount during the second four months. The X-ray data were also used to study the source environment. In particular, we discovered a diffuse emission extending on spatial scales from about 1" up to at least 1' around SGR J1935+2154 both in Chandra and XMM-Newton data. This component is constant in flux (at least within uncertainties) and its spectrum is well modelled by a power-law spectrum steeper than that of the pulsar. Though a scattering halo origin seems to be more probable we cannot exclude that part, or all, of the diffuse emission is due to a pulsar wind nebula.Comment: To appear in MNRAS; 10 pages, 3 color figures, 4 table

    IGR J08408--4503: a new recurrent Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient

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    The supergiant fast X-ray transient IGR J08408-4503 was discovered by INTEGRAL on May 15, 2006, during a bright flare. The source shows sporadic recurrent short bright flares, reaching a peak luminosity of 10^36 erg s^-1 within less than one hour. The companion star is HD 74194, an Ob5Ib(f) supergiant star located at 3 kpc in the Vela region. We report the light curves and broad-band spectra (0.1-200 keV) of all the three flares of IGR J08408-4503 detected up to now based on INTEGRAL and Swift data. The flare spectra are well described by a power-law model with a high energy cut-off at ~15 keV. The absorption column density during the flares was found to be ~10^21 cm^-2, indicating a very low matter density around the compact object. Using the supergiant donor star parameters, the wind accretion conditions imply an orbital period of the order of one year, a spin period of the order of hours and a magnetic field of the order of 10^13 G.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letter

    Models for Modules

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    We recall the structure of the indecomposable sl(2) modules in the Bernstein-Gelfand-Gelfand category O. We show that all these modules can arise as quantized phase spaces of physical models. In particular, we demonstrate in a path integral discretization how a redefined action of the sl(2) algebra over the complex numbers can glue finite dimensional and infinite dimensional highest weight representations into indecomposable wholes. Furthermore, we discuss how projective cover representations arise in the tensor product of finite dimensional and Verma modules and give explicit tensor product decomposition rules. The tensor product spaces can be realized in terms of product path integrals. Finally, we discuss relations of our results to brane quantization and cohomological calculations in string theory.Comment: 18 pages, 6 figure
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