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Birth and Evolution of Fast Radio Bursts

Submitter: Joeri van Leeuwen and Yuyang Wang
Description: Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are some of the brightest radio emitters in our entire Universe. What causes this extraordinary luminosity? Which objects generate the bursts? Our curiosity is undiminished. These question continue to challenge us, due to the combination of knowing only few sources, and not understanding the subtle effects in telescope sensitivity. We recently presented the first inclusion of the entire set of one-off FRBs from CHIME/FRB Catalog 1 in frbpoppy, the comprehensive, open-science FRB population synthesis code.

We run this code on the national supercomputer Snellius (top left). That is especially fitting because much of our result is based on accurate modeling of the dispersion measure -- the difference in speed of light at different densities and radio frequencies -- that is a proxy for distance. The Dutch astronomer Willebrord Snellius did much seminal work on the refraction of light (top right), which is based on the same fundamental principle.

From the contribution of the host galaxies to this dispersion we conclude the FRB progenitors are born in the host disk (bottom left). We show that 4 thousand one-off FRBs go off every second between Earth and a redshift of 1, and find strong evidence this FRB birth rates evolve with the star formation rate of the Universe. This population-based evidence solidly aligns with magnetar-like burst sources, and we conclude FRBs are emitted by neutron stars (bottom right).
Copyright: JvL
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