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S. E. Woosley (UCSC)
There is now clear evidence for Type I supernovae happening in coincidence with two long soft gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and compelling observations that suggest this may be a common occurrence. At the same time, it is clear that only a small fraction, ~1%, of supernovae make GRBs. Why do some stars die one way, and others, another? I will argue that GRBs are the deaths of stars which die with unusually large amounts of rotation in their inner 3 solar masses. Models that produce slowly rotating pulsars most of the time and GRBs, in rare cases, especially in regions of low metallicity, will be presented. I will also discuss models for the central engine of GRBs, with emphasis on the collapsar model, and observable diagnostics to help distinguish these models. Finally, I will discuss transition events like SN 2005bf, which probably was not a GRB at any angle, but may have involved the same central engine.
This research was supported by the NSF, NASA, and the DOE.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.