Prof. Davide Lazzati (NC State) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Jan 22, 2010

‚ÄúRelativistic outflows, their engines, and their progenitors: a new view on what shapes Gamma-Ray Burst light curves”

Gamma-Ray Bursts are the most fascinating events in astrophysics. They are the brightest sources of radiation, they mysteriously appear and disappear in all directions, and they are seen from the largest distances and earlier epochs of the Universe. Gamma-Ray Bursts are also hard to understand and classify, owing to their extreme diversity of characteristics.

After a historical introduction of GRBs, I will discuss their properties and diversity in the context of the collapsar model. I will show how the complex interaction between the engine, the massive star that hosts it, and the relativistic outflow can lead to a substantial diversity of light curves, even though each component is individually very similar from burst to burst. The discussion will be presented in simple intuitive form and supported by numerical simulations. I will finally outline a unified view of GRBs and the prospects for challenging this scenario with observations.