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The Maximum Isotropic Energy of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Abstract : The most energetic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are remarkable sources releasing huge amounts of energy on short timescales. Their prompt emission, which usually lasts few seconds, is so bright that it is visible across the whole observable universe. Studying these extreme events may provide clues on the nature of GRB progenitors and on the physical processes at work in relativistic jets. In this paper, we study the bright end of the isotropic energy distribution of long GRBs. We use two samples of long GRBs with redshift detected by Fermi/GBM or Konus-Wind, two instruments which measure the spectral shape and the energetics of the prompt emission accurately. We focus on GRBs within a range of redshifts z = 1 -- 5, a volume that contains a large number of energetic GRBs, and we propose a simple method to reconstruct the bright end of the GRB energy distribution from the observed one. We find that the GRB energy distribution cannot be described by a simple power law but requires a strong cutoff above 1−3×1054 erg. We attribute this feature to an intrinsic limit on the energy per unit of solid angle radiated by gamma-ray bursts.
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Contributor : Claudine Bombar <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 7, 2017 - 10:47:04 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:29:29 AM

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J-L. Atteia, V. Heussaff, J.-P. Dezalay, A. Klotz, D. Turpin, et al.. The Maximum Isotropic Energy of Gamma-Ray Bursts. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2017, 837 (2), pp.119. ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/aa5ffa⟩. ⟨in2p3-01503484⟩