Hydrodynamic timescales and temporal structure of gamma-ray bursts

Re’Em Sari, Tsvi Piran

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315 Scopus citations


We calculate the hydrodynamic timescales for a spherical ultrarelativistic shell that is decelerated by the ISM and discuss the possible relations between these timescales and the observed temporal structure in y-ray bursts. We suggest that the bursts’ duration is related to the deceleration time, the variability is related to the ISM inhomogeneities, and that precursors are related to internal shocks within the shell. Good agreement can be achieved for these quantities with reasonable, not fine-tuned, astrophysical parameters. The difference between Newtonian and relativistic reverse shocks may lead to the observed bimodal distribution of bursts’ durations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)L143-L146
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Dec 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ramesh Narayan and Peter Mésźaros for valuable comments on this manuscript. This research was supported by BRF grant to the Hebrew University by NASA grant NAG5-1904 through Harvard University and by NSF grant PHY94-07194, through ITP, University of California.


  • Gamma rays: bursts — hydrodynamics — relativity


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