Gamma-ray burst science in the era of the Cherenkov Telescope Array

Susumu Inoue, Jonathan Granot, Paul T. O'Brien, Katsuaki Asano, Aurelien Bouvier, Alessandro Carosi, Valerie Connaughton, Markus Garczarczyk, Rudy Gilmore, Jim Hinton, Yoshiyuki Inoue, Kunihito Ioka, Jun Kakuwa, Sera Markoff, Kohta Murase, Julian P. Osborne, A. Nepomuk Otte, Rhaana Starling, Hiroyasu Tajima, Masahiro TeshimaKenji Toma, Stefan Wagner, Ralph A.M.J. Wijers, David A. Williams, Tokonatsu Yamamoto, Ryo Yamazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We outline the science prospects for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the next-generation ground-based gamma-ray observatory operating at energies above few tens of GeV. With its low energy threshold, large effective area and rapid slewing capabilities, CTA will be able to measure the spectra and variability of GRBs at multi-GeV energies with unprecedented photon statistics, and thereby break new ground in elucidating the physics of GRBs, which is still poorly understood. Such measurements will also provide crucial diagnostics of ultra-high-energy cosmic ray and neutrino production in GRBs, advance observational cosmology by probing the high-redshift extragalactic background light and intergalactic magnetic fields, and contribute to fundamental physics by testing Lorentz invariance violation with high precision. Aiming to quantify these goals, we present some simulated observations of GRB spectra and light curves, together with estimates of their detection rates with CTA. Although the expected detection rate is modest, of order a few GRBs per year, hundreds or more high-energy photons per burst may be attainable once they are detected. We also address various issues related to following up alerts from satellites and other facilities with CTA, as well as follow-up observations at other wavelengths. The possibility of discovering and observing GRBs from their onset including short GRBs during a wide-field survey mode is also briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-275
Number of pages24
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cherenkov telescopes
  • Cosmic rays
  • Cosmology
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • High-energy gamma rays
  • Special relativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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