Ken Luu

San Francisco State University

“Gamma-Ray Bursts from Interacting Binaries”

We are analyzing interacting binary systems of a massive star and a black hole. The goal of the research is to try to understand the underlying physics of gamma-ray bursts and the progenitor system that produces them. Such physics leads to important questions such as which star make a gamma-ray burst and why?


Gamma–ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous objects in the universe. The duration of the prompt gamma-ray emission is a reflection of how long a relativistic jet lasts in the black hole (BH) accretion disk system that power GRBs. This quantity provides information about the amount of mass in the disk and the angular momentum in the BH disk system, and it is linked to properties of the progenitor system. Until now, primarily single massive stars collapses have been considered as these progenitors. We examine the possibility that longer lasting GRBs result from a massive star that collapses in an interacting binary system, which can provide the resultant BH disk system with more angular momentum and therefore a longer lived, more powerful jet. We hypothesize there are two populations of long GRBs: radio loud and radio quiet. Radio loud GRBs are longer in prompt duration and more energetic than radio quiet.

2 + 10 =