8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 22 Gamma-ray Bursts
Oral, Friday, September 10, 2004, 9:00-10:30am

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[22.04] Relativistic Electromagnetic Plasma Expansion and Gamma-Ray Bursts

E. Liang (Rice University)

Recent large-scale magnetized plasma simulations with Particle-in-Cell (PIC) codes demonstrated that relativistic electron-positron plasma expansions driven by intense electromagnetic pulses reproduce many unique properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), including their light curves, spectra and spectral evolution (Liang and Nishimura, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92(17), 175005 (2004)). Here we will review the basic physics of this new phenomenon, summarize the scaling relations obtained from PIC simulations, and apply them to GRB data. From these we will extract the Lorentz factor, magnetic field, pair density, and other intrinsic GRB parameters. Implications for GRB progenitors and cosmic ray acceleration will be discussed. Future tests of this model with Swift and GLAST data will be suggested. We will also speculate on the astrophysical settings from which these electromagnetic explosions may occur.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.