Photon acceleration in variable ultrarelativistic outflows and high-energy spectra of gamma-ray bursts

Andrei Gruzinov, Peter Mészáros

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    MeV seed photons produced in shocks in a variable ultrarelativistic outflow gain energy by the Fermi mechanism, because the photons Compton scatter off relativistically colliding shells. The Fermi-modified high-energy photon spectrum has a nonuniversal slope and a universal cutoff. A significant increase in the total radiative efficiency is possible. In some gamma-ray bursts, most of the power might be emitted at the high-energy cutoff for this mechanism, which would be close to 100 MeV for outflows with a mean bulk Lorentz factor of 100.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)L21-L24
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume539
    Issue number1 PART 2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 10 2000

    Keywords

    • Gamma rays: bursts
    • Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

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