Gamma-Ray Bursts: A Physical Perspective

  • Richard I. Epstein
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 270)


Observations of the spectra and angular distribution of gamma-ray bursts suggest that these events originate from near the surface of strongly magnetized, Galactic neutron stars. We first argue that the bursts are powered by the rotational or internal energy of neutron stars, rather than by accretion or thermonuclear energy, and then examine some physical issues related to powering gamma-ray bursts by neutron star glitches. These issues include how energy is accumulated or released by the differentially rotating neutron superfluid in a neutron star, the timescale for a glitch to occur, and mechanisms by which energy is transferred from excitations inside the star to high-energy particles above the stellar surface. We describe how relativistic electrons produce a photon-starved spectrum in the x-ray range, as observed in gamma-ray bursts, by Compton scattering the thermal radiation from the surface of a warm neutron star.


Neutron Star White Dwarf Vortex Line Stellar Surface External Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard I. Epstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Astronomy and Astrophysics ESS-9, MS D436Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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