The supernova gamma-ray burst connection

S. E. Woosley, A. Heger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The chief distinction between ordinary supernovae and long-soft gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the degree of differential rotation in the inner several solar masses when a massive star dies, and GRBs are rare mainly because of the difficulty achieving the necessary high rotation rate. Models that do provide the necessary angular momentum are discussed, with emphasis on a new single star model whose rapid rotation leads to complete mixing on the main sequence and avoids red giant formation. This channel of progenitor evolution also gives a broader range of masses than previous models, and allows the copious production of bursts outside of binaries and at high redshifts. However, even the production of a bare helium core rotating nearly at break up is not, by itself, a sufficient condition to make a gamma-ray burst. Wolf-Rayet mass loss must be low, and will be low in regions of low metallicity. This suggests that bursts at high redshift (low metallicity) will, on the average, be more energetic, have more time structure, and last longer than bursts nearby. Every burst consists of three components: a polar jet (∼0.1 radian), high energy, subrelativistic mass ejection (∼1 radian), and low velocity equatorial mass that can fall back after the initial explosion. The relative proportions of these three components can give a diverse assortment of supernovae and high energy transients whose properties may vary with redshift.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA
Subtitle of host publicationSixteenth Maryland Astrophysics Conference
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA: 16th Maryland Astrophysics Conference - Washington, D.C., United States of America
Duration: 29 Nov 20052 Dec 2005


ConferenceGAMMA-RAY BURSTS IN THE SWIFT ERA: 16th Maryland Astrophysics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityWashington, D.C.


  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Stellar evolution
  • Supernovae

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