On the Theory of Ring Afterglows

Marcus DuPont*, Andrew MacFadyen, Re’em Sari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Synchrotron and inverse Compton emission successfully explain the observed spectra of gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. It is thought that most GRBs are products of extremely relativistic outflows and the afterglow marks the interaction of that ejecta with the surrounding matter. A faster decay of afterglow light curves at late times is indicative of nonspherical geometries, and is usually interpreted as evidence for jet geometry. Recent numerical simulations have shown that ring-like geometries are also permissible for relativistic outflows. We therefore extend the standard theory of afterglow evolution to ring geometries. An analytic prescription for the light curves and spectra produced by relativistic toroidal blast waves is presented. We compare these to their spherical and jet-like counterparts, and show that ring afterglows decay faster than spherical outflows but not as fast as jets.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.


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