AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 29. Gravitational Lensing, Relativistic Astrophysics and Gamma Ray Bursts
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 2:00-3:30pm, Regency VII

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[29.04] Electron-positron outflow from black holes

M.H.P.M. van Putten (MIT 2-378)

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) appear as the brightest transient phenomena in the Universe. The nature of the central engine in GRBs is a missing link in the theory of fireballs to their stellar mass progenitors. Here it is shown that rotating black holes produce electron-positron outflow when brought into contact with a strong magnetic field. For a nearly extreme Kerr black hole and in the strong magnetic field limit, particle outflow from an initial state of electrostatic equilibrium has a normalized isotropic emission of about 5\times1048(B/Bc)2(M/7M\odot)2\sin2\theta~erg/s, where B is the external magnetic field strength, Bc=4.4\times 1013G, and M is the mass of the black hole. A connection with fireballs in \gamma-ray bursts is given.

Partial support for this work is received from NASA Grant 5-7012 and an MIT Reed Award.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mvp@golda.mit.edu

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