Gamma-ray bursts from sheared alfvén waves in the magnetospheres of extragalactic radio pulsars

Marco Fatuzzo, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The distribution of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by BATSE, in combination with the spectral data gathered over the past two decades, argue for a cosmological population of neutron-star sources. We demonstrate that GRB spectra may be understood in the context of the Compton upscattering of typical radio pulsar spectra, providing a natural interpretation to the spectral break ∈ break at ∼ 0.2-3 Mev often exhibited by GRBs. This model also predics a -γ-ray power spectral index -1 ≲ μ ≲ 2 above the break, though the prevalence of steeper radio spectra in the brightest pulsars implies a biasing of toward the bottom of this range. We find that the probability of detecting a burst in progress from any given source is ≈ 5 × 10 -11 , implying an individual stellar burst rate of about 1 every 50 years if all active pulsars are involved, or about 1 every 2 - 3 years for the very young members of this class. In addition, the energy released per burst coincides with those pertaining to the macro- and micro-glitches seen in the periods of many such sources. We conclude that GRBs may simply be the crustal adjustments responsible for the now familiar timing noise observed in young pulsars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCompton Gamma-Ray Observatory
EditorsNeil Gehrels, Michael W. Friedlander, Daryl J. Macomb
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)1563961040
StatePublished - 1993
EventCompton Symposium - St. Louis, United States
Duration: Oct 15 1992Oct 17 1992

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceCompton Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySt. Louis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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