Special Issue "Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030"

A special issue of Galaxies (ISSN 2075-4434).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elena Moretti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institut de Fisica d'Altes Energies (IFAE), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), E-08193 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: gamma-ray bursts; transients; high energy and very high energy astrophysics
Dr. Francesco Longo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Trieste and INFN, sezione di Trieste, via Valerio 2, I-34127 Trieste, Italy
Interests: gamma-ray bursts; solar flares; high energy and very high energy astrophysics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The study of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) has been a very active field since their discovery by the Vela satellites about fifty years ago.

Recent years have witnessed exciting breakthroughs that further stimulated the interest of the scientific community in the GRB field. The recent identification of a spectral component beyond synchrotron emission in the afterglow phase increased the debate about particle acceleration and emission processes at place in a GRB. The ubiquity of the extra spectral component and the environmental conditions under which it is produced are still under debate. Moreover whether this component is also present in the earlier prompt phase or not is another open question.

The recent advancements in the GRB field were achieved thanks to the multi-wavelength and multi-messenger approach. Being able to simultaneously collect data on a burst with different instruments is the key for a deep and complete understanding of the phenomena under study. Indeed, the multi-messenger and multi-wavelength observation of just one neutron-star-neutron-star merging event (detected both electromagnetically and via gravitational waves) yields a step forward in the comprehension of GRB jet dynamics and morphology—an aspect of the GRB phenomena that has been poorly probed by the observations so far.

These observations on the environment, emission processes, and jet dynamics are key tools to unveil the nature of the progenitors of GRB of short and long duration and the connection of GRB to other astrophysical questions, such as the origin of the heavy elements or the high redshift universe stellar population.

If from one side the discoveries increased the curiosity of the community, on the other side the next generation of instruments will be ready in the coming years to provide the tools for continuing the exploration. Future missions will provide a more complete picture of the phenomena by measuring the polarization of the bulk of prompt emission and by providing detection of high redshift GRBs.

The purpose of this Special Issue of Galaxies is to give an overview of the main challenges and problems that the GRB field is currently confronted with, to propose some possible solutions, and to explore the tools that the community will have in their hands in the near future. We are convinced that this Special Issue will become a reference that pictures the current state-of-the- art findings in the GRB field and envisions it in the future.

Dr. Elena Moretti
Dr. Francesco Longo
Guest Editors

Galaxies 2020 Best Paper Award for Special Issue “Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030” (500 CHF) text
 
Winner announcement date: 30 June 2022
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Dear colleagues,

To award the excellence of the papers in Special Issue: Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030, we are pleased to launch our new Best Paper Award. One review or research article will receive this award. The paper will be selected after thorough evaluation by the journal Award Committee, led by the EiC, Prof. Dr. Emilio Elizalde.

Eligibility for the award:

– Open to all career levels;
– ONLY submissions in “Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030”, excluding feature papers invited by the Guest Editor.

Selection criteria:

The paper will be selected by the journal Award Committee according to the following criteria (data source: Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)):
– Scientific merit and broadness of impact;
– Relevance to the journal’s field;
– Originality of research objectives and/or presented ideas;
– Creativity of the study design or uniqueness of approaches and concepts;
– Clarity of presentation;
– Citation and download rates by 28 April 2022;
– Authorship (first author, teamwork, and collaboration with other institutions).

Prizes:

The winner will receive the following:
– A certificate;
– 500 CHF;
– A waiver to publish a feature paper in Galaxies (following the standard peer review procedure, within one year after the award is announced).

The winner will be announced on the journal website in June 2022.

Please submit your paper here (https://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload?form[journal_id]=53&form[special_issue_id]=50561), the sooner the better.

Kind regards,
Galaxies Editorial Office

Manuscript Submission Information 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Galaxies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • gamma-ray bursts
  • instruments for astrophysics
  • emission processes
  • jet dynamics
  • multi-wavelength
  • multi-messenger
  • high redshift

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Accounting for Selection Bias and Redshift Evolution in GRB Radio Afterglow Data
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040095 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are highly energetic events that can be observed at extremely high redshift. However, inherent bias in GRB data due to selection effects and redshift evolution can significantly skew any subsequent analysis. We correct for important variables related to the GRB [...] Read more.
Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are highly energetic events that can be observed at extremely high redshift. However, inherent bias in GRB data due to selection effects and redshift evolution can significantly skew any subsequent analysis. We correct for important variables related to the GRB emission, such as the burst duration, T90*, the prompt isotropic energy, Eiso, the rest-frame end time of the plateau emission, Ta,radio*, and its correspondent luminosity La,radio, for radio afterglow. In particular, we use the Efron–Petrosian method presented in 1992 for the correction of our variables of interest. Specifically, we correct Eiso and T90* for 80 GRBs, and La,radio and Ta,radio* for a subsample of 18 GRBs that present a plateau-like flattening in their light curve. Upon application of this method, we find strong evolution with redshift in most variables, particularly in La,radio, with values similar to those found in past and current literature in radio, X-ray and optical wavelengths, indicating that these variables are susceptible to observational bias. This analysis emphasizes the necessity of correcting observational data for evolutionary effects to obtain the intrinsic behavior of correlations to use them as discriminators among the most plausible theoretical models and as reliable cosmological tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
Progenitors of Long-Duration Gamma-ray Bursts
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040079 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 302
Abstract
We review the current scenario of long-duration Gamma-ray burst (LGRB) progenitors, and in addition, present models of massive stars for a mass range of 10150M with ΔM=10M and rotation rate [...] Read more.
We review the current scenario of long-duration Gamma-ray burst (LGRB) progenitors, and in addition, present models of massive stars for a mass range of 10150M with ΔM=10M and rotation rate v/vcrit=0 to 0.6 with a velocity resolution Δv/vcrit=0.1. We further discuss possible metallicity and rotation rate distribution from our models that might be preferable for the creation of successful LGRB candidates given the observed LGRB rates and their metallicity evolution. In the current understanding, LGRBs are associated with Type-Ic supernovae (SNe). To establish LGRB-SN correlation, we discuss three observational paths: (i) space-time coincidence, (ii) evidence from photometric light curves of LGRB afterglows and SN Type-Ic, (iii) spectroscopic study of both LGRB afterglow and SN. Superluminous SNe are also believed to have the same origin as LGRBs. Therefore, we discuss constraints on the progenitor parameters that can possibly dissociate these two events from a theoretical perspective. We further discuss the scenario of single star versus binary star as a more probable pathway to create LGRBs. Given the limited parameter space in the mass, mass ratio and separation between the two components in a binary, binary channel is less likely to create LGRBs to match the observed LGRB rate. Despite effectively-single massive stars are fewer in number compared to interacting binaries, their chemically homogeneous evolution (CHE) might be the major channel for LGRB production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
A Roadmap to Gamma-Ray Bursts: New Developments and Applications to Cosmology
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040077 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe and are mainly placed at very large redshifts, up to z9. In this short review, we first discuss gamma-ray burst classification and morphological properties. We then report the likely relations [...] Read more.
Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe and are mainly placed at very large redshifts, up to z9. In this short review, we first discuss gamma-ray burst classification and morphological properties. We then report the likely relations between gamma-ray bursts and other astronomical objects, such as black holes, supernovae, neutron stars, etc., discussing in detail gamma-ray burst progenitors. We classify long and short gamma-ray bursts, working out their timescales, and introduce the standard fireball model. Afterwards, we focus on direct applications of gamma-ray bursts to cosmology and underline under which conditions such sources would act as perfect standard candles if correlations between photometric and spectroscopic properties were not jeopardized by the circularity problem. In this respect, we underline how the shortage of low-z gamma-ray bursts prevents anchor gamma-ray bursts with primary distance indicators. Moreover, we analyze in detail the most adopted gamma-ray burst correlations, highlighting their main differences. We therefore show calibration techniques, comparing such treatments with non-calibration scenarios. For completeness, we discuss the physical properties of the correlation scatters and systematics occurring during experimental computations. Finally, we develop the most recent statistical methods, star formation rate, and high-redshift gamma-ray burst excess and show the most recent constraints obtained from experimental analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
Stable Up-Down Quark Matter Nuggets, Quark Star Crusts, and a New Family of White Dwarfs
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040070 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
The possible existence of stable up-down quark matter (udQM) was recently proposed, and it was shown that the properties of udQM stars are consistent with various pulsar observations. In this work we investigate the stability of ud [...] Read more.
The possible existence of stable up-down quark matter (udQM) was recently proposed, and it was shown that the properties of udQM stars are consistent with various pulsar observations. In this work we investigate the stability of udQM nuggets and found at certain size those objects are more stable than others if a large symmetry energy and a small surface tension were adopted. In such cases, a crust made of udQM nuggets exists in quark stars. A new family of white dwarfs comprised entirely of udQM nuggets and electrons were also obtained, where the maximum mass approaches to the Chandrasekhar limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
The Low-Energy Spectral Index of Gamma-ray Burst Prompt Emission from Internal Shocks
Galaxies 2021, 9(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9030068 - 15 Sep 2021
Viewed by 479
Abstract
The prompt emission of most gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) typically exhibits a non-thermal Band component. The synchrotron radiation in the popular internal shock model is generally put forward to explain such a non-thermal component. However, the low-energy photon index α1.5 predicted [...] Read more.
The prompt emission of most gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) typically exhibits a non-thermal Band component. The synchrotron radiation in the popular internal shock model is generally put forward to explain such a non-thermal component. However, the low-energy photon index α1.5 predicted by the synchrotron radiation is inconsistent with the observed value α1. Here, we investigate the evolution of a magnetic field during propagation of internal shocks within an ultrarelativistic outflow, and revisit the fast cooling of shock-accelerated electrons via synchrotron radiation for this evolutional magnetic field. We find that the magnetic field is first nearly constant and then decays as Bt1, which leads to a reasonable range of the low-energy photon index, 3/2<α<2/3. In addition, if a rising electron injection rate during a GRB is introduced, we find that α reaches 2/3 more easily. We thus fit the prompt emission spectra of GRB 080916c and GRB 080825c. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Review

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Review
The SVOM Mission
by , and
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040113 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 122
Abstract
SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is a sino-french mission that is dedicated to Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) science, expected to be launched in mid 2023. The mission includes four space-based and three ground-based instruments that, working together, will discover GRBs and provide [...] Read more.
SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is a sino-french mission that is dedicated to Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) science, expected to be launched in mid 2023. The mission includes four space-based and three ground-based instruments that, working together, will discover GRBs and provide rapid multi-wavelength follow-up in order to obtain a complete coverage of the GRB emission over seven decades in energy, from the trigger up to the very late phases of the afterglow. Thanks to its characteristics, SVOM will play a crucial role in time-domain and multi-messenger astronomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
Review
Electromagnetic Precursors of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts as Counterparts of Gravitational Waves
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040104 - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 150
Abstract
Precursor emissions are found in some short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). In this paper, we review the theories and observations of the SGRB precursor and discuss its prospect as an electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave event produced by neutron star (NS) mergers. The [...] Read more.
Precursor emissions are found in some short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). In this paper, we review the theories and observations of the SGRB precursor and discuss its prospect as an electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave event produced by neutron star (NS) mergers. The observed luminosity, spectrum, and duration of precursors are explained by the magnetospheric interaction model during the inspiral or the cocoon/jet shock breakout model during the jet propagation. In general, these two models predict that the precursor will be weaker than the main GRB, but will be of a larger opening angle, which makes it an advantageous gamma-ray counterpart for NS mergers in the local Universe, especially for NS - black hole mergers with very low mass ratios, in which the main GRBs are not expected. The joint observation of the precursor, SGRB, and gravitational wave will help to reveal the jet launch mechanism and post-merger remnant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Review
Probing Gamma-Ray Burst VHE Emission with the Southern Wide-Field-of-View Gamma-Ray Observatory
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040098 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Recent observations have confirmed that Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) afterglows produce Very High-Energy radiation (VHE, E>100GeV). This highly anticipated discovery opens new scenarios in the interpretation of GRBs and in their role as probes of Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) and Lorentz [...] Read more.
Recent observations have confirmed that Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) afterglows produce Very High-Energy radiation (VHE, E>100GeV). This highly anticipated discovery opens new scenarios in the interpretation of GRBs and in their role as probes of Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) and Lorentz Invariance Violation (LIV). However, some fundamental questions about the actual nature of VHE emission in GRBs and its evolution during the burst are still unsolved. These questions will be difficult to address, even with future imaging Cherenkov telescopes, such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Here we investigate the prospects of gamma-ray sky monitoring with Extensive Air Showers arrays (EAS) to address these problems. We discuss the theoretical aspects connected with VHE radiation emission and the implications that its temporal evolution properties have on the interpretation of GRBs. By revisiting the high-energy properties of some Fermi-LAT detected GRBs, we estimate the typical fluxes expected in the VHE band and compare them with a range of foreseeable instrument performances, based on the Southern Wide Field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory concept (SWGO). We focus our analysis on how different instrument capabilities affect the chances to explore the burst onset and early evolution in VHE, providing invaluable complementary information with respect to Cherenkov telescope observations. We show that under the assumption of conditions already observed in historical events, the next-generation ground monitoring detectors can actually contribute to answer several key questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Review
GRB Polarization: A Unique Probe of GRB Physics
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040082 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 380
Abstract
Over half a century from the discovery of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the dominant radiation mechanism responsible for their bright and highly variable prompt emission remains poorly understood. Spectral information alone has proven insufficient for understanding the composition and main energy dissipation mechanism in [...] Read more.
Over half a century from the discovery of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the dominant radiation mechanism responsible for their bright and highly variable prompt emission remains poorly understood. Spectral information alone has proven insufficient for understanding the composition and main energy dissipation mechanism in GRB jets. High-sensitivity polarimetric observations from upcoming instruments in this decade may help answer such key questions in GRB physics. This article reviews the current status of prompt GRB polarization measurements and provides comprehensive predictions from theoretical models. A concise overview of the fundamental questions in prompt GRB physics is provided. Important developments in gamma-ray polarimetry including a critical overview of different past instruments are presented. Theoretical predictions for different radiation mechanisms and jet structures are confronted with time-integrated and time-resolved measurements. The current status and capabilities of upcoming instruments regarding the prompt emission are presented. The very complimentary information that can be obtained from polarimetry of X-ray flares as well as reverse-shock and early to late forward-shock (afterglow) emissions are highlighted. Finally, promising directions for overcoming the inherent difficulties in obtaining statistically significant prompt-GRB polarization measurements are discussed, along with prospects for improvements in the theoretical modeling, which may lead to significant advances in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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