Relativistic electrons moving into a highly tangled magnetic field emit jitter radiation. We present a detailed computation of the jitter radiation spectrum, including self-absorption, for electrons inside Weibel-like shock generated magnetic fields. We apply our results to the case of the prompt and afterglow emission of gamma-ray bursts. We show that jitter emission can reproduce most of the observed features with some important differences with respect to standard synchrotron, especially in the frequency range between the self-absorption and the peak frequency. We discuss the similarities and differences between jitter and synchrotron and discuss experiments that can disentangle the two mechanisms.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- May 2008
- magnetic fields;
- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal;
- gamma-rays: bursts;
- 12 pages, 7 postscript figures. Figures, discussion, and references updated. Accepted for publication in MNRAS