Journal Article

Jitter radiation images, spectra and light curves from a relativistic spherical blastwave

Brian J. Morsony, Jared C. Workman, Davide Lazzati and Mikhail V. Medvedev

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 392, issue 4, pages 1397-1402
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13856.x
Jitter radiation images, spectra and light curves from a relativistic spherical blastwave

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We consider radiation emitted by the jitter mechanism in a Blandford–McKee self-similar blastwave. We assume the magnetic field configuration throughout the whole blastwave meets the condition for the emission of jitter radiation and we compute the ensuing images, light curves and spectra. The calculations are performed for both a uniform and a wind environment. We compare our jitter results to synchrotron results. We show that jitter radiation produces slightly different spectra than synchrotron, in particular between the self-absorption and the peak frequency, where the jitter spectrum is flat, while the synchrotron spectrum grows as ν1/3. The spectral difference is reflected in the early decay slope of the light curves. We conclude that jitter and synchrotron afterglows can be distinguished from each other with good quality observations. However, it is unlikely that the difference can explain the peculiar behaviour of several recent observations, such as flat X-ray slopes and uncorrelated optical and X-ray behaviour.

Keywords: magnetic fields; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; gamma rays: bursts

Journal Article.  3522 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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