Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 138, 491-497
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge
CB3 0HA, UK
Received January 26; accepted February 28, 1999
There is now a consensus that gamma-ray bursts involve extraordinary power outputs, and highly relativistic dynamics. The trigger is probably a binary merger or collapse involving compact objects. The most plausible progenitors, ranging from NS-NS mergers to various hypernova-like scenarios, eventually lead to the formation of a black hole with a debris torus around it, the extractable energy being up to 1054 ergs. The various modes of energy extraction from such systems are discussed. Some key theoretical issues are highlighted, along with the types of observation that would discriminate among the various models.
Key words: gamma-rays: bursts
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