- Fast radio bursts and their possible neutron star origins
- Journal of Physics. Conference Series
- Volume | Issue number
- 932 | 1
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
The discovery of the ‘Lorimer Burst’, a little over a decade ago, ignited renewed interest in searching for short-duration radio transients (Lorimer et al 2007 Science 318 777). This event is now considered to be the first established Fast Radio Burst (FRB), which is a class of millisecond-duration radio transients (Thornton et al 2013 Science 341 53). The large dispersive delays observed in FRBs distinguish them from the individual bright pulses from Galactic pulsars, and suggests that they originate deep in extragalactic space. Amazingly, FRBs are not rare: the implied event rate ranges up to many thousands of events per sky, per day (Champion et al 2016 MNRAS 460 L30). The fact that only two dozen FRBs have been discovered to date is a consequence of the limited sensitivity and field of view of current radio telescopes (Petroff et al 2016 PASA 33 e045). The precise localization of FRB 121102, the first and currently only FRB observed to repeat (Spitler et al 2014 ApJ 790 101; Spitler et al 2016 Nature 531 202; Scholz et al 2016 ApJ 833 177), has led to the unambiguous identification of its host galaxy and thus proven its extragalactic origin and large energy scale (Chatterjee et al 2017 Nature 541 58; Tendulkar et al 2017 ApJL 834 L7; Marcote et al 2017 ApJL 834 L8). It remains unclear, however, whether all FRBs are capable of repeating [many appear far less active (Petroff et al 2015 MNRAS 454 457)] or whether FRB 121102 implies that there are multiple sub-classes. Regardless, the repetitive nature of FRB 121102 and its localization to within a star-forming region in the host galaxy (Bassa et al 2017 ApJL 843 L8) imply that the bursts might originate from an exceptionally powerful neutron star – one necessarily quite unlike any we have observed in the Milky Way. In these proceedings, I give a very brief introduction to the FRB phenomenon and focus primarily on the insights that FRB 121102 has provided thus far.
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- International Conference Physics of Neutron Stars - 2017. 50 years after.
10–14 July 2017, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
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