High-energy spectral signatures in gamma-ray bursts

Baring, Matthew G.
June 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 515 Issue 1, p238
Academic Journal
One of the principal results obtained by the EGRET experiment aboard the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) was the detection of several γ-ray bursts (GRBs) above 100 MeV. The broad-band spectra obtained for these bursts gave no indication of any high energy spectral attenuation that might preclude detection of bursts by ground-based Cˇerenkov telescopes (ACTs), thus motivating several TeV observational programs. This paper explores the expectations for the spectral properties in the TeV and sub-TeV bands for bursts, in particular how attenuation of photons by pair creation internal to the source modifies the spectrum to produce distinctive spectral signatures. The energy of spectral breaks and the associated spectral indices provide valuable information that can constrain the bulk Lorentz factor of the GRB outflow at a given time. These characteristics define palpable observational goals for ACT programs, and strongly impact the observability of bursts in the TeV band. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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