A Cosmological Fireball with 16% Gamma-Ray Radiative Efficiency

Liang Li, Yu Wang, Felix Ryde, Asaf Pe’er, Bing Zhang, Sylvain Guiriec, Alberto J. Castro-Tirado, D. Alexander Kann, Magnus Axelsson, Kim Page, Péter Veres, P. N. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions in the universe. How efficiently the jet converts its energy to radiation is a long-standing problem, which is poorly constrained. The standard model invokes a relativistic fireball with a bright photosphere emission component. A definitive diagnosis of GRB radiation components and the measurement of GRB radiative efficiency require prompt emission and afterglow data, with high resolution and wide band coverage in time and energy. Here, we present a comprehensive temporal and spectral analysis of the TeV-emitting bright GRB 190114C. Its fluence is one of the highest for all the GRBs that have been detected so far, which allows us to perform a high-resolution study of the prompt emission spectral properties and their temporal evolutions, down to a timescale of about 0.1 s. We observe that each of the initial pulses has a thermal component contributing ∼20% of the total energy and that the corresponding temperature and inferred Lorentz factor of the photosphere evolve following broken power-law shapes. From the observation of the nonthermal spectra and the light curve, the onset of the afterglow corresponding to the deceleration of the fireball is considered to start at ∼6 s. By incorporating the thermal and nonthermal observations, as well as the photosphere and synchrotron radiative mechanisms, we can directly derive the fireball energy budget with little dependence on hypothetical parameters, measuring a ∼16% radiative efficiency for this GRB. With the fireball energy budget derived, the afterglow microphysics parameters can also be constrained directly from the data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL57
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume944
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

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