A compact fireball model of gamma-ray bursts Academic Article uri icon


  • It is proposed that the gamma ray burst photons near the peak of the spectrum at several hundred KeV are produced on very compact scales, where photon production is limited by blackbody effects and/or the requirement of energetic quanta ($E>2m_e c^2$) for efficient further production. The fast variation of order milliseconds in the time profile is then a natural expectation, given the other observed GRB parameters. Analytic calculations are presented to show that the escape of non-thermal, energetic gamma rays can emerge within a second of the thermal photons from a gammasphere of below $10^{12}$ cm. The minimum asymptotic bulk Lorentz factor in this model is found to be of order several hundred if the photosphere is of order $3 \times 10^{11}$ cm and greater for larger or smaller photospheric radii. It is suggested that prompt UHE gamma rays might provide a new constraint on the asymptotic Lorentz factor of the outflow. Comment: To appear in ApJ, revisions requested by the referee

publication date

  • January 1, 2000