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Black Hole Accretion in Gamma Ray Bursts
Open AccessArticle

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

Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics, Academy of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, 115409 Moscow, Russia
Institute for Theoretical Physics, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
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;
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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