Journal Article

Gamma-ray burst afterglow scaling coefficients for general density profiles

H. J. Van Eerten and R. A. M. J. Wijers

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 4, pages 2164-2174
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14482.x
Gamma-ray burst afterglow scaling coefficients for general density profiles

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Gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows are well described by synchrotron emission originating from the interaction between a relativistic blast wave and the external medium surrounding the GRB progenitor. We introduce a code to reconstruct spectra and light curves from arbitrary fluid configurations, making it especially suited to study the effects of fluid flows beyond those that can be described using analytical approximations. As a check and first application of our code, we use it to fit the scaling coefficients of theoretical models of afterglow spectra. We extend earlier results of other authors to general circumburst density profiles. We rederive the physical parameters of GRB 970508 and compare with other authors.

Keywords: plasmas; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; shock waves; gamma-rays: bursts; gamma-rays: theory

Journal Article.  6363 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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