Nonthermal optical transients from relativistic fireballs Academic Article uri icon


  • A general upper bound is derived on the total energy in incoherent nonthermal transients at frequency $\ensuremath{\nu}$ from relativistic fireballs with bulk Lorentz factors $\ensuremath{\Gamma}$ and observed duration $\ensuremath{\Delta}t$, and shown to be about ${10}^{\ensuremath{-}2}[\ensuremath{\Gamma}\ensuremath{\nu}\ensuremath{\Delta}t{]}^{3}\mathrm{ergs}$. It is suggested that detection in the optical can be achieved with the next generation of ground based gamma ray telescopes and/or small optical telescopes. Phenomena within the Galaxy such as accretion disk flares and neutron star magnetospheric discharges might be discovered in this way.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000