TeV gamma-ray emission from gamma-ray bursts and ultra high energy cosmic rays*
Theory Division, National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 3 January 2000
Some recent experiments detecting very high energy (VHE) gamma-rays above 10-20 TeV, independently reported VHE bursts for some bright gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), although further confirmation is necessary. If these signals are truly from GRBs, these GRBs must emit a much larger amount of energy as VHE gamma-rays than in the ordinary photon energy range of GRBs (keV-MeV). We show that such extreme phenomena can be reasonably explained by synchrotron radiation of protons accelerated to eV. Protons must carry a much larger amount of energy than electrons, suggesting that energy transfer from protons into electrons in shocked matter is very inefficient. The total energy of GRBs becomes as large as ergs and hence a strong beaming of GRB emission is highly likely. There may also be TeV emission in afterglow phase from external shocks, and proton synchrotron in this phase gives a quantitative explanation for the famous long duration GeV emission from GRB 940217. Most TeV gamma-rays are absorbed in intergalactic space by interactions with the infrared and microwave background radiations, and finally form gamma-ray background in GeV range. This process may explain the extragalactic background radiation observed in the EGRET range. We also discuss absorption of TeV gamma-rays in the shocked region of GRBs by the process, which may provide a new channel for energy transfer from protons into electrons (and positrons). This process should be important for the energetics of GRBs.
Key words: gamma-ray bursts (GRB)
© European Southern Observatory (ESO), 2000