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  Self-modulation of fast radio bursts

Sobacchi, E., Lyubarsky, Y., Beloborodov, A. M., & Sironi, L. (2020). Self-modulation of fast radio bursts. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 500(1), 272-281. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa3248.

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Sobacchi, Emanuele, Author
Lyubarsky, Yuri, Author
Beloborodov, Andrei M.1, Author           
Sironi, Lorenzo, Author
Affiliations:
1Galaxy Formation, Cosmology, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society, ou_159878              

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 Abstract: Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are extreme astrophysical phenomena entering the realm of non-linear optics, a field developed in laser physics. A classical non-linear effect is self-modulation. We examine the propagation of FRBs through the circumburst environment using the idealized setup of a monochromatic linearly polarized GHz wave propagating through a uniform plasma slab of density N at distance R from the source. We find that self-modulation occurs if the slab is located within a critical radius Rcrit ∼ 1017(N/102 cm−3)(L/1042 erg s−1) cm, where L is the isotropic equivalent of the FRB luminosity. Self-modulation breaks the burst into pancakes transverse to the radial direction. When R ≲ Rcrit, the transverse size of the pancakes is smaller than the Fresnel scale. The pancakes are strongly diffracted as the burst exits the slab, and interference between the pancakes produces a frequency modulation of the observed intensity with a sub-GHz bandwidth. When R ∼ Rcrit, the transverse size of the pancakes becomes comparable with the Fresnel scale, and the effect of diffraction is weaker. The observed intensity is modulated on a time-scale of 10 µm, which corresponds to the radial width of the pancakes. Our results suggest that self-modulation may cause the temporal and frequency structure observed in FRBs.

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 Dates: 2020-10-20
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa3248
Other: LOCALID: 3283755
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Title: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  Other : Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 500 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 272 - 281 Identifier: ISSN: 1365-8711
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000024150