The Provenance and Intermittency of Extragalactic Radio Burst Sources

Jim Cordes (Cornell University) - December 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm

I will discuss possible host environments of fast radio burst sources using constraints from dispersion measures and burst profiles (scattering), Galactic models for free electrons, Faraday rotation, and the absence of prominent galaxies in positional error boxes. The relative roles of the intergalactic medium and host galaxies are central to this discussion.
I will also review Galactic scintillation effects and how they likely have imposed strong selection effects on the current sample of detected bursts. Such effects involve refraction from electron density variations on ~AU scales and diffraction from scales as small as ~1000 km. Scintillations are strongly dependent on direction and frequency. One question that will be addressed is whether FRB121102 is unique in showing repetitions or that all FRBs repeat but are more difficult to redetect. The prospects for detecting very bright FRBs in the local universe will be analyzed.
Finally, I will speculate on possible source populations that underly the FRB phenomenon.

The seminar will be held in 131A Campbell Hall.

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