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Authors: Curran, P. A.
Evans, P. A.
de Pasquale M.
Page, M. J.
van der Horst A. J.
First Published: 20-Jun-2010
Publisher: American Astronomical Society (IOP Publishing)
Citation: Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2010, 716 (2), pp. L135-L139
Abstract: The electron energy distribution index, p, is a fundamental parameter of the synchrotron emission from a range of astronomical sources. Here we examine one such source of synchrotron emission, gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows observed by the Swift satellite. Within the framework of the blast wave model, we examine the constraints placed on the distribution of p by the observed X-ray spectral indices and parameterize the distribution. We find that the observed distribution of spectral indices are inconsistent with an underlying distribution of p composed of a single discrete value but consistent with a Gaussian distribution centered at p = 2.36 and having a width of 0.59. Furthermore, accepting that the underlying distribution is a Gaussian, we find that the majority (≳94%) of GRB afterglows in our sample have cooling break frequencies less than the X-ray frequency.
DOI Link: 10.1088/2041-8205/716/2/L135
ISSN: 2041-8205
eISSN: 2041-8213
Version: Publisher Version
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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