Fluid dynamics of semiradiative blast waves

Ehud Cohen*, Tsvi Piran, Re'em Sari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We derive a self-similar solution for the propagation of an extreme relativistic (or Newtonian) radiative spherical blast wave into a surrounding cold medium. The solution is obtained under the assumption that the radiation process is fast, that it takes place only in the vicinity of the shock, and that it radiates away a fixed fraction of the energy generated by the shock. We find that the energy of the blast wave behaves as a power law of the location of the shock. The power-law index depends on the fraction of the energy emitted by the shock. We obtain an analytic solution for the interior of the blast wave. In the Newtonian regime these solutions generalize the Sedov-Taylor adiabatic solution and the pressuredriven fully radiative solution. In the extreme relativistic case, these solutions generalize the BlandfordMcKee adiabatic solution. They provide a new fully radiative extreme relativistic solution that is different from the Blandford-McKee fully radiative relativistic solution. This new solution develops a hot interior that causes it to cool faster than previous estimates. These new solutions might be applicable to the study of γ-ray burst afterglow or supernova remnants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)717-727
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1998


  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Hydrodynamics
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Relativity
  • Shock waves
  • Supernova remnants


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