Central engines for gamma-ray bursts

S. E. Woosley, A. I. MacFadyen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    What powers a gamma-ray burst (GRB)? We discuss here some properties of several currently favored models based on black hole accretion with emphasis on the collapsar - a rotating massive star whose iron core collapse produces a black hole. Depending on mass, rotation rate, and viewing angle, collapsars can explain a wide gambit of GRBs from faint events like GRB 980425, to bright ones like GRB 971214. Because of accretion disk instabilities, the Γ in the jet may be rapidly time variable. The burst itself is made by a combination of internal shocks in the jet and external shocks with the pre-explosive stellar wind. Beaming for hard gamma-rays is about 1%, but mildly relativistic matter is ejected at larger angles. All collapsars produce Type Ib/c supernovae like SN 1998bw, but the converse is not true. Most Type Ib/c supernovae do not make GRBs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)499-502
    Number of pages4
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 1999


    • Accretion; gamma-ray bursts
    • Black holes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


    Dive into the research topics of 'Central engines for gamma-ray bursts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this