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Black Hole Accretion in Gamma Ray Bursts
Open AccessArticle

The Signature of the Blandford-Znajek Mechanism in GRB Light Curves

1
Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics, Academy of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece
2
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, 115409 Moscow, Russia
3
Institute for Theoretical Physics, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
4
Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, Department of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Emilio Elizalde
Galaxies 2017, 5(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies5020021
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Bursts: Recent Theoretical Models and Observations)
In 1977, Blandford and Znajek showed how the spin energy of a rotating black hole may be extracted electromagnetically through a magnetic field that threads the black hole horizon. A characteristic feature of this mechanism is that, under certain fairly general conditions, the energy loss rate decays exponentially. We looked precisely for such behavior in the X-ray light curves of Long and Ultra Long duration Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) observed with the XRT instrument on board the Swift satellite, and found that almost 30% of XRT light curves show an exponential decay before they reach the afterglow plateau. A similar behavior (Fast Rise Exponential Decay-FRED) was observed in γ -rays with the BATSE instrument aboard the CGRO satellite. We consider both of these findings as the signature of the Blandford-Znajek mechanism in action in the central engine of GRBs. View Full-Text
Keywords: gamma-ray bursts; black holes; magnetic fields gamma-ray bursts; black holes; magnetic fields
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Contopoulos, I.; Nathanail, A.; Strantzalis, A. The Signature of the Blandford-Znajek Mechanism in GRB Light Curves. Galaxies 2017, 5, 21.

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