Thermal Electrons in Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows

Sean M. Ressler, Tanmoy Laskar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To date, nearly all multi-wavelength modeling of long-duration γ-ray bursts has ignored synchrotron radiation from the significant population of electrons expected to pass the shock without acceleration into a power-law distribution. We investigate the effect of including the contribution of thermal, non-accelerated electrons to synchrotron absorption and emission in the standard afterglow model, and show that these thermal electrons provide an additional source of opacity to synchrotron self-absorption, and yield an additional emission component at higher energies. The extra opacity results in an increase in the synchrotron self-absorption frequency by factors of 10–100 for fiducial parameters. The nature of the additional emission depends on the details of the thermal population, but is generally observed to yield a spectral peak in the optical brighter than radiation from the nonthermal population by similar factors a few seconds after the burst, remaining detectable at millimeter and radio frequencies several days later.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume845
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • astro-ph.HE

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal Electrons in Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this