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Dynamical Formation Channels for Fast Radio Bursts in Globular Clusters

Kremer, Kyle and Piro, Anthony L. and Li, Dongzi (2021) Dynamical Formation Channels for Fast Radio Bursts in Globular Clusters. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 917 (1). Art. No. L11. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ac13a0.

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The repeating fast radio burst (FRB) localized to a globular cluster (GC) in M81 challenges our understanding of FRB models. In this Letter, we explore dynamical formation scenarios for objects in old GCs that may plausibly power FRBs. Using N-body simulations, we demonstrate that young neutron stars (NSs) may form in GCs at a rate of up to ∼50 Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹ through a combination of binary white dwarf (WD) mergers, WD–NS mergers, binary NS mergers, and accretion-induced collapse of massive WDs in binary systems. We consider two FRB emission mechanisms: First, we show that a magnetically powered source (e.g., a magnetar with field strength ≳10¹⁴ G) is viable for radio emission efficiencies ≳10⁻⁴. This would require magnetic activity lifetimes longer than the associated spin-down timescales and longer than empirically constrained lifetimes of Galactic magnetars. Alternatively, if these dynamical formation channels produce young rotation-powered NSs with spin periods of ∼10 ms and magnetic fields of ∼10¹¹ G (corresponding to spin-down lifetimes of ≳10⁵ yr), the inferred event rate and energetics can be reasonably reproduced for order unity duty cycles. Additionally, we show that recycled millisecond pulsars or low-mass X-ray binaries similar to those well-observed in Galactic GCs may also be plausible channels, but only if their duty cycle for producing bursts similar to the M81 FRB is small.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kremer, Kyle0000-0002-4086-3180
Piro, Anthony L.0000-0001-6806-0673
Li, Dongzi0000-0001-7931-0607
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2021 June 23; revised 2021 July 7; accepted 2021 July 12; published 2021 August 12. We thank Sterl Phinney for discussions during the early stages of this work, Josiah Schwab for helpful feedback on the fate of white dwarf mergers and comments on the manuscript, Wenbin Lu, Ben Margalit, and Bing Zhang for useful discussions, and the anonymous referee for constructive comments and suggestion. K.K. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-2001751.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-2001751
Subject Keywords:Globular star clusters; Radio transient sources; Neutron stars; N-body simulations; Magnetars
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Globular star clusters (656); Radio transient sources (2008); Neutron stars (1108); N-body simulations (1083); Magnetars (992)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210914-225356560
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Official Citation:Kyle Kremer et al 2021 ApJL 917 L11
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110887
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Sep 2021 17:02
Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 17:02

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