Gravitational lensing of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) by a single point mass will produce a second, delayed signal. Several authors have discussed using microlensed GRBs to probe a possible cosmological population of compact objects. We analyse a closely related phenomenon: the effect of microlensing by low to medium optical depth in compact objects on the averaged observed light curve of a sample of GRBs. We discuss the cumulative measured flux as a function of time resulting from delays caused by microlensing by cosmological compact objects. The time-scale and curvature of this function describe unique values for the compact object mass and optical depth. For GRBs with durations larger than the detector resolution, limits could be placed on the mass and optical depth of cosmological compact objects. The method does not rely on the separation of lensed bursts from those that are spatially coincident.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Gamma-rays: bursts
- Gravitational lensing