Cosmological fast radio bursts from binary white dwarf mergers

Kazumi Kashiyama, Kunihito Ioka, Peter Mészáros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Recently, Thornton et al. reported the detection of four fast radio bursts (FRBs). The dispersion measures indicate that the sources of these FRBs are at cosmological distance. Given the large full sky event rate ∼104 sky-1 day-1, the FRBs are a promising target for multi-messenger astronomy. Here we propose double degenerate, binary white-dwarf (WD) mergers as the source of FRBs, which are produced by coherent emission from the polar region of a rapidly rotating, magnetized massive WD formed after the merger. The basic characteristics of the FRBs, such as the energetics, emission duration and event rate, can be consistently explained in this scenario. As a result, we predict that some FRBs can accompany type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) or X-ray debris disks. Simultaneous detection could test our scenario and probe the progenitors of SNe Ia, and moreover would provide a novel constraint on the cosmological parameters. We strongly encourage future SN and X-ray surveys that follow up FRBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL39
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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