Single-peaked gamma-ray bursts in the Fermi GBM catalogue
Abstract: Gamma-ray burst light curves are notoriously irregular, yet a significant number consists of a single fast-rising, exponentially decaying pulse. These are called single-peaked light curves. The goal of this thesis is to analyse a sample of 2710 GRBs collected by the Fermi space telescope by identifying single-peaked bursts and comparing their properties to those of the multi-peaked bursts. Furthermore, the validity of the relativistic shock breakout theory as an explanation for single-peaked, low-luminosity GRBs is investigated using a closure relation. For this investigation, the Fermi sample wascomplemented by low-luminosity GRBs observed by other instruments. A criterion for selecting single-peaked bursts was successfully developed, yielding 48% long and 79% short, single-peaked GRBs. Significant differences between the populations were found in multiple properties. In general, single-peaked GRBs appear to be weaker and more slowly varying than multi-peaked ones; however, a larger sample of GRBs with redshift measurements is needed to draw conclusions about possible intrinsic differences in energy connected to the progenitor systems. The investigation of low-luminosity GRBs’ compliance with the shock breakout closure relation showed that 64% of the low-luminosity GRBs were within a factor 5 of fulfilling the relation as opposed to only 24% of high-luminosity GRBs. It was further shown that only a small number (< 5%) of Fermi GRBs without redshift measurements could be low-luminosity shock breakout GRBs according to this theory. In conclusion, while the shock breakout closure relation does hold for a greater proportion of low-luminosity GRBs than high-luminosity GRBs, there is still a large number of low-luminosity GRBs left unexplained by this theory.
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