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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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Gamma-Ray Bursts as Probes of the Universe

Gamma-Ray Bursts as Probes of the Universe

(p.169) 6 Gamma-Ray Bursts as Probes of the Universe
What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?

Joshua S. Bloom

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on how gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are emerging as unique tools in the study of broad areas of astronomy and physics by virtue of their special properties. The unassailable fact about GRBs that makes them such great probes is that they are fantastically bright and so can be seen to the farthest reaches of the observable Universe. In parallel with the ongoing study of GRB events and progenitors, new lines of inquiry have burgeoned: using GRBs as unique probes of the Universe in ways that are almost completely divorced from the nature of GRBs themselves. Topics discussed include studies of gas, dust, and galaxies; the history of star formation; measuring reionization and the first objects in the universe; neutrinos, gravitational waves, and cosmic rays; quantum gravity and the expansion of the universe; and the future of GRBs.

Keywords:   gamma-ray bursts, star formation, gas, dust, galaxies, reionization, neutrinos, gravitational waves, cosmic rays

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