Prof. Zhang receives another NASA grant !! (this is his lucky year!!)

Sep 30, 2009

Prof. Zhang (PI) received a 3-yr grant from NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADP) in the amount of $357,233.   The title of the proposal is “A broad-band study of gamma-ray bursts and related phenomena”. 

Here’s the full abstract of the proposal: 

The study of Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) has entered a full multi-wavelength era. A rich trove of data from NASA GRB missions and ground-based follow up observations has been collected, which brings new puzzles while solving them. Careful data mining with well-defined scientific objectives holds the key to unveil these mysteries. We propose to perform data analyses in the following four directions. 1. Recent Fermi observation of GRB 080916C suggests that at least for this burst, the GRB outflow is Poynting-flux-dominated. If this is common among GRBs, it has profound implications in understanding the fundamental mechanism of GRBs. We plan to test this hypothesis by analyzing prompt gamma-ray/optical data, prompt GeV data, as well as prompt gamma-ray variability information. 2. Recent GRB multi-wavelength observations suggest that it is not straightforward to define the physical category of a GRB based on the duration information. We plan to further develop methods of physical classification schemes by invoking more quantitative multiple observational criteria, and use Monte Carlo simulations to address the profound question of whether all short GRBs are originated from compact star mergers. 3. A recent serendipitous discovery of XRO 080109 suggests that such X-ray transients are very common, may be associated with every Type Ib/c supernova. We plan to systematically search for XRO 080109-like events from Swift/XRT, Chandra and XMM-Newton archives, and use the results to constrain the event rate of these transients and address their physical origin. 4. A few high-redshift GRBs have been identified, which show interesting observational properties. We plan to systematically study high-z GRBs and their possible redshift evolution effect, and use GRBs to study high-z universe and cosmography. The whole program conforms to NASA’s Strategic Plan, and will make use of public data of many space missions (most are NASA missions), including Swift, BeppoSAX, HETE-2, CGRO, Fermi, Chandra, XMM-Newton, and probably JANUS and SVOM.