A model for fast rising, slowly decaying subpulses in γ-ray bursts

David Eichler, Hadar Manis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) often feature subpulses that have a distinctively asymmetric profile - they rise quickly and decay much more slowly, while their spectrum softens slightly with observer time. It is suggested that these subpulses are caused by slow baryonic clouds embedded within a primary γ-ray beam, which scatter the γ-radiation into our line of sight as they accelerate. Good quantitative agreement is obtained with observed light curves and spectral evolution. The kinetic energy that the baryonic component of GRB jets receives from the primary γ-radiation is predicted to be about equal to the amount of γ-radiation that is scattered, consistent with observations of afterglow. Several other observational consequences are briefly discussed. The possibility is raised that the timescale of short GRBs is established by radiative acceleration and/or baryon injection rather than the timescale of the central engine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L65-L68
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Gamma rays: bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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