Diagnosing the site of gamma-ray burst prompt emission with spectral cut-off energy

Nayantara Gupta, Bing Zhang
2008 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters  
The site and mechanism of gamma-ray burst (GRB) prompt emission is still unknown. Although internal shocks have been widely discussed as the emission site of GRBs, evidence supporting other emission sites have been also suggested recently, including the closer-in photosphere where the fireball becomes transparent and further-out radii near the fireball deceleration radius where magnetic dissipation may be important. With the successful operation of the GLAST experiment, prompt high energy
more » ... on spectra from many GRBs would be detected in the near future. We suggest that the cut-off energy of the prompt emission spectrum from a GRB depends on both the fireball bulk Lorentz factor and the unknown emission radius from the central engine. If the bulk Lorentz factor could be independently measured (e.g. from early afterglow observations), the observed spectral cutoff energy can be used to diagnose the emission site of gamma-rays. This would provide valuable information to understand the physical origin of the GRB promp emission.
doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2007.00411.x fatcat:cm2bfcvkhvdyzoojskxmz3d2om