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dc.contributor.authorCurran, Peter
dc.contributor.authorEvans, P.
dc.contributor.authorDe Pasqualea, M.
dc.contributor.authorPage, M.
dc.contributor.authorvan der Horst, A.
dc.identifier.citationCurran, P. and Evans, P. and De Pasqualea, M. and Page, M. and van der Horst, A. 2010. On the Electron Energy Distribution Index of Swift Gamma-ray Burst Afterglows. The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 716: pp. L135-L139.

The electron energy distribution index, p, is a fundamental parameter of the synchrotron emission from a rangeof astronomical sources. Here we examine one such source of synchrotron emission, gamma-ray burst (GRB)afterglows observed by the Swift satellite. Within the framework of the blast wave model, we examine theconstraints placed on the distribution of p by the observed X-ray spectral indices and parameterize the distribution.We find that the observed distribution of spectral indices are inconsistent with an underlying distribution ofp composed of a single discrete value but consistent with a Gaussian distribution centered at p = 2.36 andhaving a width of 0.59. Furthermore, accepting that the underlying distribution is a Gaussian, we find that themajority ( 94%) of GRB afterglows in our sample have cooling break frequencies less than the X-ray frequency.

dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
dc.subjectshock waves
dc.subjectradiation mechanisms: - non-thermal
dc.subjectacceleration of particles
dc.subjectgamma-ray burst: general
dc.subjectmethods: statistical
dc.titleOn the Electron Energy Distribution Index of Swift Gamma-ray Burst Afterglows
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
curtin.accessStatusFulltext not available

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