We show that external shocks cannot produce a variable gamma-ray burst, unless the burst is produced by an extremely narrow jet (angular opening of <~10-4) or if only a small fraction of the shell emits the radiation and the process is very inefficient. Internal shocks can produce the observed complex temporal structure provided that the source itself is variable. In this case, the observed temporal structure reflects the activity of the ``inner engine'' that drives the bursts. This sets direct constraints on it.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- August 1997
- Subjectheadings: gamma rays: bursts;
- Shock Waves;
- 15 page latex file with 5 PS figure. Complete uuencoded compressed PS file is available at ftp://shemesh.fiz.huji.ac.il or at http://shemesh.fiz.huji.ac.il/papers/SaP_aclue.uu