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What are Gamma-Ray Bursts?
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This is a marvelous book. It contains the new results from the fast-developing science of gamma-ray-burst astronomy along with its fascinating history. I recommend it as a good introduction for nonexperts and a fun read for researchers in the field. -- Neil Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Table of Contents

PREFACE ix Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Serendipity during the Cold War 1 1.2 A New Field Begins 7 1.3 Precise Localizations and the Search for Counterparts 10 1.4 The March 5th Event and Soft Gamma-Ray Repeaters 12 1.5 BATSE and the Great Debate 16 1.6 The Afterglow Era Begins 23 1.7 Progenitors and Diversity 29 1.8 Gamma-Ray Bursts in a Universal Context 37 Chapter 2: Into the Belly of the Beast 40 2.1 What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts? 40 2.2 Understanding the Origin of the High-Energy Emission 52 2.3 The Central Engine 62 Chapter 3: Afterglows 72 3.1 Phenomenology 73 3.2 Origin of the Emission 90 3.3 Evidence for Jetting 105 3.4 Late-Time Observations 111 Chapter 4: The Events in Context 113 4.1 Local Scales 114 4.2 Galactic Scales 121 4.3 Universal Scales 127 Chapter 5: The Progenitors of Gamma-Ray Bursts 135 5.1 A Massive-Star Origin 137 5.2 Mergers of Compact Objects 150 5.3 Extragalactic Magnetars 163 5.4 Classification Challenges 165 Chapter 6: Gamma-Ray Bursts as Probes of the Universe 169 6.1 Studies of Gas, Dust, and Galaxies 171 6.2 The History of Star Formation 177 6.3 Cosmic Dawn: Measuring Reionization and the First Objects in the Universe 181 6.4 Neutrinos, Gravitational Waves, and Cosmic Rays 191 6.5 Quantum Gravity and the Expansion of the Universe 195 6.6 The Future of Gamma-Ray Bursts: At the Nexus of Physical and Astrophysical Inquiry 200 NOTES 203 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING 227 GLOSSARY 231 INDEX 249

About the Author

Joshua S. Bloom is associate professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reviews

"This series of books (Princeton Frontiers of Physics) is aimed at 'students, scientists and scientifically minded general readers'. This particular book is on target, with reasonably clear explanations of most of the jargon, a useful glossary, a good index and a reference to a more advanced review for those who need it."--D.J. Miller, Contemporary Physics

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