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Physical Constraints on Fast Radio Bursts

Luan, Jing and Goldreich, Peter (2014) Physical Constraints on Fast Radio Bursts. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 785 (2). Art. No. L26. ISSN 2041-8205.

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Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are isolated, ms radio pulses with dispersion measure (DM) of order 10^3 pc cm^(–3). Galactic candidates for the DM of high latitude bursts detected at GHz frequencies are easily dismissed. DM from bursts emitted in stellar coronas are limited by free-free absorption and those from H II regions are bounded by the nondetection of associated free-free emission at radio wavelengths. Thus, if astronomical, FRBs are probably extragalactic. FRB 110220 has a scattering tail of ~5.6 ± 0.1 ms. If the electron density fluctuations arise from a turbulent cascade, the scattering is unlikely to be due to propagation through the diffuse intergalactic plasma. A more plausible explanation is that this burst sits in the central region of its host galaxy. Pulse durations of order ms constrain the sizes of FRB sources implying high brightness temperatures that indicates coherent emission. Electric fields near FRBs at cosmological distances would be so strong that they could accelerate free electrons from rest to relativistic energies in a single wave period.

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Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 January 7; accepted 2014 March 12; published 2014 April 2. We thank Sarah Burke-Spolaor for valuable suggestions and comments. We are grateful to an anonymous referee whose advice alerted us to an error in a previous version of Section 3. Detailed comments made by Christian D. Ott and Yanbei Chen on an earlier version of the manuscript led to significant improvements in the final version.
Subject Keywords:radio continuum: general
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140528-152806090
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Official Citation: Physical Constraints on Fast Radio Bursts Jing Luan and Peter Goldreich 2014 ApJ 785 L26
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45950
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 May 2014 22:52
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:38

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