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M. Lyutikov (McGill University, CITA), R. Blandford (Caltech)
We study the dynamics of relativistic electromagnetic explosions as a possible mechanism for the production of Gamma-Ray Bursts. We propose that a rotating relativistic stellar-mass progenitor loses much of its spin energy in the form of an electromagnetically-dominated outflow. We analize different stages of expansion of magnetically-dominated pair-loaded plasma. After the flow becomes optically thin, it forms a relativistically expanding, non-spherically symmetric magnetic bubble - a ''cold fireball''. Acceleration of pairs and \gamma-ray emission occurs at ~ 1016 cm due to development of electromagnetic instabilities in a force-free plasma. A number of prediction is made which would distinguish electromagnetic and baryonic models. We conclude that electromagnetic paradigm for ultra-relativistic outflows in GRBs is a viable possibility and which can be tested by a number of observations.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.