Constraining the braking index and energy partition of magnetar spindown with Swift/XRT data.
LU H.-J., LAN L. and LIANG E.-W.
Abstract (from CDS):
The long-lasting X-ray plateau emission in long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) shows observational evidence for ongoing energy injection, which may be from magnetar spindown due to energy released via either magnetic dipole (MD) or gravitational wave (GW) radiation. In this paper, by systematically analyzing the Swift/XRT light curves detected before 2018 July, we find 45 light curves with a measured redshift that monotonically decay as a smooth broken power law. By assuming that the central engines of these GRBs are newly born magnetars, we measure the braking index n of putative millisecond magnetars, due to MD and GW radiations. The inferred braking indices are not close to 3 or 5, but range between them with a normal distribution (nc=4.02±0.11). We define a dimensionless parameter R, which is the ratio between the MD and GW components, and find that the energy released via magnetar spindown in most GRBs of our sample is dominated by GW radiation for P0=3 ms and ε = 0.005 and 0.01. On the other hand, we find that R and the braking index n seem to be anticorrelated within a large systematic error at t = 0, but depend on the values of the parameters P0 and ε. These results suggest that the contribution of GW radiation cannot be ignored, and that a larger braking index leads to GWs dominating the energy released during magnetar spindown if indeed magnetars are operating in some long GRBs.