Gamma-ray burst pulse shapes: evidence for embedded shock signatures?
HAKKILA J. and PREECE R.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
A study of a set of well-isolated pulses in long and intermediate gamma-ray burst (GRB) light curves indicates that simple pulse models having smooth and monotonic pulse rise and decay regions are inadequate. Examining the residuals of fits of pulses to such models suggests the following patterns of departure from smooth pulses: three separate wavelike peaks found in the residuals of each pulse (the precursor peak, the central peak, and the decay peak) combine with the underlying Norris et al. pulse model to produce five distinct regions in the temporal evolution of each pulse. The Precursor Shelf occurs prior to or concurrent with the exponential Rapid Rise. The pulse reaches maximum intensity at the Peak Plateau, then undergoes a Rapid Decay. The decay gradually slows into an Extended Tail. Despite these distinct temporal segments, the pulses studied are almost universally characterized by hard-to-soft spectral evolution, arguing that the new pulse features reflect a single evolution, rather than being artifacts of pulse overlap. The fluctuations can give a single pulse the appearance of having up to three distinct localized peaks, leading to ambiguities in pulse-fitting if an incorrect pulse model is used. The approach demonstrates that complex GRBs may be composed of fewer pulses than indicated by the number of peaks. The large degree of similar spectro-temporal behavior within GRB pulses indicates that a single process is responsible for producing pulses spanning a tremendous range of durations, luminosities, and spectral hardnesses, and the correlated characteristics of the wavelike peaks are related to the pulse asymmetry, suggesting kinematic origins that seem supportive of relativistic shocks.
gamma-ray burst: general - methods: data analysis - methods: statistical - relativistic processes - shock waves