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What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?$
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Joshua S. Bloom

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691145570

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691145570.001.0001

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The Events in Context

The Events in Context

(p.113) 4 The Events in Context
What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?

Joshua S. Bloom

Princeton University Press

Prompt and afterglow emission of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are largely driven by the central engine behavior, the explosion properties, and the physics of relativistic shocks. Those seconds, minutes, and days after the main event tell a remarkable story about how the progenitors of GRBs end their life. But it is the context—where GRBs occur inside and out of galaxies and throughout cosmic time—that tell us how the progenitors lived. Indeed, GRB locations are treated like a crime scene, extracting forensic evidence to make a case about the lifecycle of a GRB progenitor. This chapter discusses local-, galactic-, and universal-scale observations of GRBs.

Keywords:   gamma-ray bursts, GRBs, afterglows, afterglow emission, progenitors, central engine behavior, explosion propertie, relativistic shocks

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