Polarization of gamma-ray bursts via scattering off a relativistic sheath Academic Article uri icon


  • Gamma-ray burst fireballs could be ensheathed by a relativistic, baryon-enriched outflow that would in selected directions scatter a polarized beam of gamma rays. The strong polarization recently announced by RHESSI is attainable by the scattering mechanism, although not most of the time. The scattering mechanism, when acting in addition to the synchrotron mechanism, could circumvent some of the predictions implied by a purely synchrotron origin for the polarization. The time profile of the scattered component could differ from that of the primary gamma rays.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003