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What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?
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What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?

Joshua S. Bloom

Abstract

Gamma-ray bursts are the brightest—and, until recently, among the least understood—cosmic events in the universe. Discovered by chance during the Cold War, these evanescent high-energy explosions confounded astronomers for decades. But a rapid series of startling breakthroughs beginning in 1997 revealed that the majority of gamma-ray bursts are caused by the explosions of young and massive stars in the vast star-forming cauldrons of distant galaxies. New findings also point to very different origins for some events, serving to complicate but enrich our understanding of the exotic and violent u ... More

Keywords: gamma-ray bursts, young stars, cosmic phenomena, electromagnetic spectrum, astrophysics, gravity waves, big bang, scientific inquiry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780691145570
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691145570.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joshua S. Bloom, author
University of California, Berkeley

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