University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Monday, April 18th 2016
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Bing Zhang - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Subject: Gravitational wave sources, short gamma-ray bursts, and fast radio bursts

Transient astrophysics has entered the multi-wavelength/multi-messenger era. It has been long speculated that short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) may be associated with NS-NS or NS-BH mergers, so that they are leading EM counterpart for gravitational wave (GW) sources detectable by Advanced LIGO. The claim of a possible faint short GRB signal following the first BH-BH merger GW source, GW 150914, is completely unexpected. On the other hand, fast radio bursts (FRBs), a new type of coherent radio transients, are likely extragalactic and possibly have a cosmological origin. However, their physical nature remains unknown. I discuss two possible scenarios of GW/GRB/FRB associations. The first involves a supra-massive neutron star formed after a NS-NS merger, which collapses into a BH after 100s of seconds and produces an FRB. The second involves a merger of a BH-BH system, with at least one BH charged. The pre-merger magnetospheric activities of the system would power an FRB, and possibly a short GRB if the charge is large enough. I discuss how these scenarios may account for the recent interesting observations of GW 150914 and FRB 150418.

Faculty Host: Yong-Zhong Qian

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