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Title: Adiabatic and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Electrons Applied to Synchrotron Spectra and Light Curves of Gamma-Ray Burst Pulses

Abstract

We investigate the adiabatic and radiative (synchrotron and inverse-Compton) cooling of relativistic electrons whose injected or initial distribution with energy is a power law. Herein, analytical and numerical results are presented for the cooling-tail and the cooled-injected distribution that develop below and above the typical energy of injected electrons, for the evolution of the peak energy E p of the synchrotron emission spectrum. The pulse shape resulting from an episode of electron injection is also analyzed. The synchrotron emission calculated numerically is compared with the spectrum and shape of Gamma-ray burst (GRB) pulses. Both adiabatic and radiative cooling processes lead to a softening of the pulse spectrum, and both types of cooling processes lead to pulses peaking earlier and lasting shorter at higher energy, quantitatively consistent with observations. For adiabatic-dominated electron cooling, a power-law injection rate R i suffices to explain the observed power-law GRB low-energy spectra. Synchrotron-dominated cooling leads to power-law cooling-tails that yield the synchrotron standard slope α = –3/2 provided that R i ~ B 2, which is exactly the expectation if the magnetic field is a constant fraction of the post-shock energy density. Increasing (decreasing) R i andmore » decreasing (increasing) B( t) lead to harder (softer, respectively) slopes α than the standard value and to nonpower-law (curved) cooling-tails. Inverse-Compton cooling yields four values for the slope α but, as for synchrotron, other R i or B histories yield a wider range of slopes and curved low-energy spectra. Feedback between the power-law segments that develop below and above the typical injected electron leads to a synchrotron spectrum with many breaks.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1601391
Report Number(s):
[LA-UR-18-27963]
[Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[89233218CNA000001]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
[Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 886; Journal Issue: 2]; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; methods: analytical, numerical; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; stars: gamma-ray burst: general; gamma-ray bursts; non-thermal radiation sources

Citation Formats

Panaitescu, Alin-Daniel. Adiabatic and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Electrons Applied to Synchrotron Spectra and Light Curves of Gamma-Ray Burst Pulses. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e17.
Panaitescu, Alin-Daniel. Adiabatic and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Electrons Applied to Synchrotron Spectra and Light Curves of Gamma-Ray Burst Pulses. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e17.
Panaitescu, Alin-Daniel. Tue . "Adiabatic and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Electrons Applied to Synchrotron Spectra and Light Curves of Gamma-Ray Burst Pulses". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e17.
@article{osti_1601391,
title = {Adiabatic and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Electrons Applied to Synchrotron Spectra and Light Curves of Gamma-Ray Burst Pulses},
author = {Panaitescu, Alin-Daniel},
abstractNote = {We investigate the adiabatic and radiative (synchrotron and inverse-Compton) cooling of relativistic electrons whose injected or initial distribution with energy is a power law. Herein, analytical and numerical results are presented for the cooling-tail and the cooled-injected distribution that develop below and above the typical energy of injected electrons, for the evolution of the peak energy E p of the synchrotron emission spectrum. The pulse shape resulting from an episode of electron injection is also analyzed. The synchrotron emission calculated numerically is compared with the spectrum and shape of Gamma-ray burst (GRB) pulses. Both adiabatic and radiative cooling processes lead to a softening of the pulse spectrum, and both types of cooling processes lead to pulses peaking earlier and lasting shorter at higher energy, quantitatively consistent with observations. For adiabatic-dominated electron cooling, a power-law injection rate R i suffices to explain the observed power-law GRB low-energy spectra. Synchrotron-dominated cooling leads to power-law cooling-tails that yield the synchrotron standard slope α = –3/2 provided that R i ~ B 2, which is exactly the expectation if the magnetic field is a constant fraction of the post-shock energy density. Increasing (decreasing) R i and decreasing (increasing) B(t) lead to harder (softer, respectively) slopes α than the standard value and to nonpower-law (curved) cooling-tails. Inverse-Compton cooling yields four values for the slope α but, as for synchrotron, other R i or B histories yield a wider range of slopes and curved low-energy spectra. Feedback between the power-law segments that develop below and above the typical injected electron leads to a synchrotron spectrum with many breaks.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e17},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = [2],
volume = [886],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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