Generalized tests for selection effects in gamma-ray burst high-energy correlations

Nathaniel Butler, Daniel Kocevski, Joshua S. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several correlations among parameters derived from modeling the high-energy properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been reported. We show that well known examples of these have common features indicative of strong contamination by selection effects. We focus here on the impact of detector threshold truncation on the spectral peak versus isotropic equivalent energy release (E pk-E iso) relation, extended to a large sample of 218 Swift and 56 HETE-2 GRBs with and without measured redshift. The existence of faint Swift events missing from pre-Swift surveys calls into question inferences based on pre-Swift surveys which must be subject to complicated incompleteness effects. We demonstrate a generalized method for treating data truncation in correlation analyses and apply this method to Swift and pre-Swift data. Also, we show that the E pk-E γ ("Ghirlanda") correlation is effectively independent of the GRB redshifts, which suggests that its existence has little to do with intrinsic physics. We suggest that a physically based correlation, manifest observationally, must show significantly reduced scatter in the rest frame relative to the observer frame and must not persist if the assumed redshifts are scattered. As with the E pk-E γ correlation, we find that the pre-Swift, bright GRB E pk-E iso correlation of Amati does not rigorously satisfy these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume694
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

gamma ray bursts
energy
inference
effect
test
contamination
physics
approximation
modeling

Keywords

  • Cosmology: observations
  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Generalized tests for selection effects in gamma-ray burst high-energy correlations. / Butler, Nathaniel; Kocevski, Daniel; Bloom, Joshua S.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 694, No. 1, 2009, p. 76-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Butler, Nathaniel ; Kocevski, Daniel ; Bloom, Joshua S. / Generalized tests for selection effects in gamma-ray burst high-energy correlations. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2009 ; Vol. 694, No. 1. pp. 76-83.
@article{c37bfa65ea1141d2801ef0a98de40dbe,
title = "Generalized tests for selection effects in gamma-ray burst high-energy correlations",
abstract = "Several correlations among parameters derived from modeling the high-energy properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been reported. We show that well known examples of these have common features indicative of strong contamination by selection effects. We focus here on the impact of detector threshold truncation on the spectral peak versus isotropic equivalent energy release (E pk-E iso) relation, extended to a large sample of 218 Swift and 56 HETE-2 GRBs with and without measured redshift. The existence of faint Swift events missing from pre-Swift surveys calls into question inferences based on pre-Swift surveys which must be subject to complicated incompleteness effects. We demonstrate a generalized method for treating data truncation in correlation analyses and apply this method to Swift and pre-Swift data. Also, we show that the E pk-E γ ({"}Ghirlanda{"}) correlation is effectively independent of the GRB redshifts, which suggests that its existence has little to do with intrinsic physics. We suggest that a physically based correlation, manifest observationally, must show significantly reduced scatter in the rest frame relative to the observer frame and must not persist if the assumed redshifts are scattered. As with the E pk-E γ correlation, we find that the pre-Swift, bright GRB E pk-E iso correlation of Amati does not rigorously satisfy these conditions.",
keywords = "Cosmology: observations, Gamma rays: bursts, Methods: statistical",
author = "Nathaniel Butler and Daniel Kocevski and Bloom, {Joshua S.}",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1088/0004-637X/694/1/76",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "694",
pages = "76--83",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Generalized tests for selection effects in gamma-ray burst high-energy correlations

AU - Butler, Nathaniel

AU - Kocevski, Daniel

AU - Bloom, Joshua S.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Several correlations among parameters derived from modeling the high-energy properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been reported. We show that well known examples of these have common features indicative of strong contamination by selection effects. We focus here on the impact of detector threshold truncation on the spectral peak versus isotropic equivalent energy release (E pk-E iso) relation, extended to a large sample of 218 Swift and 56 HETE-2 GRBs with and without measured redshift. The existence of faint Swift events missing from pre-Swift surveys calls into question inferences based on pre-Swift surveys which must be subject to complicated incompleteness effects. We demonstrate a generalized method for treating data truncation in correlation analyses and apply this method to Swift and pre-Swift data. Also, we show that the E pk-E γ ("Ghirlanda") correlation is effectively independent of the GRB redshifts, which suggests that its existence has little to do with intrinsic physics. We suggest that a physically based correlation, manifest observationally, must show significantly reduced scatter in the rest frame relative to the observer frame and must not persist if the assumed redshifts are scattered. As with the E pk-E γ correlation, we find that the pre-Swift, bright GRB E pk-E iso correlation of Amati does not rigorously satisfy these conditions.

AB - Several correlations among parameters derived from modeling the high-energy properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been reported. We show that well known examples of these have common features indicative of strong contamination by selection effects. We focus here on the impact of detector threshold truncation on the spectral peak versus isotropic equivalent energy release (E pk-E iso) relation, extended to a large sample of 218 Swift and 56 HETE-2 GRBs with and without measured redshift. The existence of faint Swift events missing from pre-Swift surveys calls into question inferences based on pre-Swift surveys which must be subject to complicated incompleteness effects. We demonstrate a generalized method for treating data truncation in correlation analyses and apply this method to Swift and pre-Swift data. Also, we show that the E pk-E γ ("Ghirlanda") correlation is effectively independent of the GRB redshifts, which suggests that its existence has little to do with intrinsic physics. We suggest that a physically based correlation, manifest observationally, must show significantly reduced scatter in the rest frame relative to the observer frame and must not persist if the assumed redshifts are scattered. As with the E pk-E γ correlation, we find that the pre-Swift, bright GRB E pk-E iso correlation of Amati does not rigorously satisfy these conditions.

KW - Cosmology: observations

KW - Gamma rays: bursts

KW - Methods: statistical

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=71849099212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=71849099212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1088/0004-637X/694/1/76

DO - 10.1088/0004-637X/694/1/76

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:71849099212

VL - 694

SP - 76

EP - 83

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 1

ER -