M.S. Physics Thesis Talk: Ken Luu - "Gamma-Ray Bursts and Binary Progenitors"
Abstract: Gamma–ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous objects in the universe. The duration of the prompt gamma-ray emission is a signature of how long a relativistic jet lasts in the black hole (BH) accretion disk system that powers GRBs. This quantity provides information about the amount of mass in the disk and the angular momentum in the BH disk system, and it is linked to the properties of the progenitor system. Until now, primarily single massive star collapses have been considered as these progenitors. I examine the possibility that longer-lasting GRBs result from a massive star that collapses in an interacting binary system, which can provide the resultant BH disk system with more angular momentum and therefore a longer-lived, more powerful jet.