Beaming and jets in gamma-ray bursts

Sari, Re’em
September 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 526 Issue 1, p504
Conference Proceeding
The origin of GRBs has been a mystery for almost 30 years. The afterglow observed in the last few years enabled redshift determination for a handful of bursts, and the cosmological origin is now firmly established. Though the distance scale is settled, there still remains orders of magnitude uncertainty in their rate and in the total energy that is released in the explosion due to the possibility that the emission is not spherical but jet-like. Contrary to the GRB itself, the afterglow can be measured up to months and even years after the burst, and it can provide crucial information on the geometry of the ejecta. We review the theory of afterglow from jets and discuss the evidence that at least some of the bursts are not spherical. We discuss the prospects of polarization measurements, and show that this is a powerful tool in constraining the geometry of the explosion. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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