Gamma-ray bursts, classified physically

Joshua S. Bloom, Nathaniel R. Butler, Daniel A. Perley

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

20 Scopus citations


From Galactic binary sources, to extragalactic magnetized neutron stars, to long-duration GRBs without associated supernovae, the types of sources we now believe capable of producing bursts of gamma-rays continues to grow apace. With this emergent diversity comes the recognition that the traditional and newly formulated high-energy observables used for identifying sub-classes does not provide an adequate one-to-one mapping to progenitors. The popular classification of some >100sec duration GRBs as short bursts is not only an unpalatable retronym and syntactically oxymoronic but highlights the difficultly of using what was once a purely phenomenological classification to encode our understanding of the physics that gives rise to the events. Here we propose a physically based classification scheme designed to coexist with the phenomenological system already in place and argue for its utility and necessity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGamma-Ray Bursts 2007 - Proceedings of the Santa Fe Conference
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Dec 1 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


OtherSanta Fe Conference on Gamma-Ray Bursts 2007, GRB 2007
CountryUnited States
CitySanta Fe, NM



  • Gamma-ray bursts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Bloom, J. S., Butler, N. R., & Perley, D. A. (2008). Gamma-ray bursts, classified physically. In Gamma-Ray Bursts 2007 - Proceedings of the Santa Fe Conference (pp. 11-15). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1000).