skip to main content

Title: Probing the intergalactic medium with fast radio bursts

The recently discovered fast radio bursts (FRBs), presumably of extragalactic origin, have the potential to become a powerful probe of the intergalactic medium (IGM). We point out a few such potential applications. We provide expressions for the dispersion measure and rotation measure as a function of redshift, and we discuss the sensitivity of these measures to the He II reionization and the IGM magnetic field. Finally, we calculate the microlensing effect from an isolated, extragalactic stellar-mass compact object on the FRB spectrum. The time delays between the two lensing images will induce constructive and destructive interference, leaving a specific imprint on the spectra of FRBs. With a high all-sky rate, a large statistical sample of FRBs is expected to make these applications feasible.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East #201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)
  2. Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100 (Israel)
  3. Caltech Optical Observatories 249-17, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  4. Space Radiation Laboratory 290-17, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370073
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMOLOGY; DISPERSIONS; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; INTERFERENCE; INTERGALACTIC SPACE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MASS; PULSARS; RED SHIFT; ROTATION; SENSITIVITY; SPECTRA; TIME DELAY