## Abstract

We present detailed calculations of the prompt spectrum of γ-ray bursts (GRBs) predicted within the fireball model framework, in which emission is due to internal shocks in an expanding relativistic wind. Our time-dependent numerical model describes cyclo-synchrotron emission and absorption, inverse and direct Compton scattering, and e^{±} pair production and annihilation (including the evolution of high-energy electromagnetic cascades). It allows, in particular, a self-consistent calculation of the energy distribution of e^{⊥} pairs produced by photon annihilation and hence, a calculation of the spectra resulting when the scattering optical depth due to pairs, τ_{=}, is high. We show that emission peaks at ∼1 MeV for moderate-to-large τ_{=}, reaching τ_{=} ∼10^{2}. In this regime of large compactness we find that (1) a large fraction of shock energy can escape as radiation even for large τ _{=}; (2) the spectrum depends only weakly on the magnetic field energy fraction; (3) the spectrum is hard, ε^{2} dN/dε ∝ ε^{α} with 0.5 < a < 1, between the self-absorption (ε_{ssa} = 10^{0.5=0.5} keV) and peak (ε _{peak} = 10^{0.5±0.5} Mev) photon energy; (4) the spectrum shows a sharp cutoff at ∼10 MeV: and (5) thermal Comptonization leads to emission peaking at ε_{peak} ≳ 30 MeV and cannot, therefore, account for observed GRB spectra. For small compactness, spectra extend to higher than 10 GeV with flux detectable by GLAST, and the spectrum at low energy depends on the magnetic field energy fraction. Comparison of the flux at ∼1 GeV and ∼100 keV may therefore allow the determination of the magnetic field strength. For both small and large compactness, the spectra depend only weakly on the spectral index of the energy distribution of accelerated electrons.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 448-459 |

Number of pages | 12 |

Journal | Astrophysical Journal |

Volume | 613 |

Issue number | 1 I |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 20 Sep 2004 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Gamma rays: bursts
- Gamma rays: theory
- Methods: data analysis
- Methods: numerical
- Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal