Spectral and timing properties of a dissipative -ray burst photosphere
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Box 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 13 March 2007
We explore the observational appearance of the photosphere of an ultrarelativistic flow with internal dissipation of energy as predicted by the magnetic reconnection model. Previous study of the radiative transfer in the photospheric region has shown that gradual dissipation of energy results in a hot photosphere. There, inverse Compton scattering of the thermal radiation advected with the flow leads to powerful photospheric emission with spectral properties close to those of the observed prompt GRB emission. Here, we build on that study by calculating the spectra for a large range of the characteristics of the flow. An accurate fitting formula is given that provides the photospheric spectral energy distribution in the ~10 keV to ~10 MeV energy range (in the central engine frame) as a function of the basic physical parameters of the flow. It facilitates the direct comparison of the model predictions with observations, including the variability properties of the lightcurves. We verify that the model naturally accounts for the observed clustering in peak energies of the E spectrum. In this model, the Amati relation indicates a tendency for the most luminous bursts to have more energy per baryon. If this tendency also holds for individual GRB pulses, the model predicts the observed narrowing of the width of pulses with increasing photon energy.
Key words: gamma rays: bursts / radiation mechanisms: general / methods: statistical
© ESO, 2007