A number of correlations between observables have been found to exist for gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows, linking ejecta energy to prompt and afterglow energy release and linking early stage optical and X-ray luminosity to the end times of these stages. Here, these correlations are compared to thick and thin shell models for GRB afterglows. In the thick shell model, the time evolution of the underlying relativistic blast wave is still influenced by the original ejecta, while in the thin shell model most energy in the explosion has been transferred to the external medium. It is shown here that the observed correlations rule out basic thin shell models but not the basic thick shell model. In the thick shell case, both forward- and reverse-shock-dominated outflows are shown to be consistent with the correlations, using randomly generated samples of thick shell model afterglows.
- hydrodynamics, plasmas, radiation mechanisms: non-thermal, shock waves, gamma-ray bursts: general