Are gamma-ray burst outflows neutron-rich?

Brian D. Metzger, Todd A. Thompson, Eliot Quataert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Rapidly-accreting black holes and young, rapidly-rotating magnetars (proto-magnetars) are two possible central engines for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The midplane of neutrino-cooled accretion disks and the surface of proto-magnetars are both neutron-rich, with a neutron-to-proton ratio np≫1. If a large neutron fraction is preserved to large radii in relativistic, GRB-producing outflows, several observable consequences may result, including changes to the prompt and afterglow emission from the standard fireball model. We describe the results of detailed magnetohydrodynamic calculations of outflows from both proto-magnetars and hyper-accreting disks which predict the nucleonic content of the material at large radii. We summarize the prospects for neutron-rich GRB outflows from individual central engines, emphasizing a fundamental difference between neutino-heated mass-loading in proto-magnetar and accretion disk winds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGamma-Ray Bursts 2007 - Proceedings of the Santa Fe Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventSanta Fe Conference on Gamma-Ray Bursts 2007, GRB 2007 - Santa Fe, NM, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2007Nov 9 2007

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceSanta Fe Conference on Gamma-Ray Bursts 2007, GRB 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Fe, NM

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Accretion
  • Gamma-ray Bursts
  • MHD
  • Magnetars
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Outflows


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