Variability in gamma-ray bursts: A clue

Reem Sari*, Tsvi Piran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

279 Scopus citations


We show that external shocks cannot produce a variable gamma-ray burst, unless the burst is produc-ed by an extremely narrow jet (angular opening of ≲ 10-4) or if only a small fraction of the shell emits the radiation and the process is very inefficient. Internal shocks can produce the observed complex tem-poral structure provided that the source itself is variable. In this case, the observed temporal structure reflects the activity of the "inner engine " that drives the bursts. This sets direct constraints on it.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)270-273
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1997


  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Relativity
  • Shock waves


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