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Imprint of local environment on fast radio burst observations

Lu, Wenbin and Phinney, E. Sterl (2020) Imprint of local environment on fast radio burst observations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 496 (3). pp. 3308-3313. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa1679.

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When fast radio burst (FRB) waves propagate through the local (⁠≲1pc⁠) environment of the FRB source, electrons in the plasma undergo large-amplitude oscillations. The finite-amplitude effects cause the effective plasma frequency and cyclotron frequency to be dependent on the wave strength. The dispersion measure and rotation measure should therefore vary slightly from burst to burst for a repeating source, depending on the luminosity and frequency of the individual burst. Furthermore, free–free absorption of strong waves is suppressed due to the accelerated electrons’ reduced energy exchange in Coulomb collisions. This allows bright low-frequency bursts to propagate through an environment that would be optically thick to low-amplitude waves. Given a large sample of bursts from a repeating source, it would be possible to use the deficit of low-frequency and low-luminosity bursts to infer the emission measure of the local intervening plasma and its distance from the source. Information about the local environment will shed light on the nature of FRB sources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lu, Wenbin0000-0002-1568-7461
Phinney, E. Sterl0000-0002-9656-4032
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2020 May 29. Received 2020 May 26; in original form 2019 December 27. Published: 12 June 2020. We thank the anonymous referee whose suggestions have improved the clarity of this paper. We acknowledge useful discussions with Peter Goldreich, Barak Zackay, Paz Beniamini, and Bing Zhang.
Group:Astronomy Department, TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Subject Keywords:radio continuum: general
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200415-080658172
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wenbin Lu, E Sterl Phinney, Imprint of local environment on fast radio burst observations, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 496, Issue 3, August 2020, Pages 3308–3313,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102546
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Apr 2020 16:43
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:13

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