Quasi-universal Gaussian jets: A unified picture for gamma-ray bursts and X-ray flashes

Bing Zhang, Xinyu Dai, Nicole M. Lloyd-Ronning, Peter Mészáros

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An observed correlation Ep α (Eiso) 1/2 extending from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) to X-ray flashes (XRFs) poses problems both for a power-law universal jet model, in which the energy per solid angle decreases as the inverse square of the angle with respect to the jet axis, and for a conical jet model with a uniform energy density within the jet beam and a sharp energy cutoff at the jet edge. Here we show that the current GRB-XRF prompt emission/afterglow data can be understood in terms of a picture in which the GRB-XRF jets are quasi-universal and structured, with a Gaussian-like or similar structure, i.e., one where the jet has a characteristic angle, with a mild variation of energy inside and a rapid (e.g., exponential) decrease of energy outside of it. A Monte Carlo simulation shows that the current data is compatible with such a quasi-universal Gaussian jet with a typical opening angle of 5.7-2.1+3.4 deg and with a standard jet energy of about log (Ej/1 erg) = 51.1 ± 0.3. According to this model, the true-to-observed number ratio of the whole GRB-XRF population is about 14 with the current instrumental sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L119-L122
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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