Models for classical gamma-ray bursts

  • Hartmann D
  • Woosley S
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Abstract

The origin of gamma-ray bursts continues to be a great mystery. Here we review some relevant observations and a number of recent models. While no clear solution exists at the present time, the parameter space for Galactic halo models is becoming very constrained. Cosmological models on the other hand require both enormous total energy and the concentration of that energy into a small mass. This implies compact objects, probably accreting black holes of stellar size. We review some of the physics of such accreting black holes and point out that the jet formed from accretion into a rapidly accreting black hole of stellar mass might precess. This precession, coupled to beaming, could impose additional time structure on the burst and its spectrum. In the event of a "failed" supernova model, the wind of the Wolf-Rayet star prior to the event could provide the beam dump where the jet generates gamma-rays. Enduring emission that grows harder with time might be expected for several hours as the density in the vicinity of the black hole declines. © 1995.

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Authors

  • D. H. Hartmann

  • S. E. Woosley

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