Vol 16, No 5

Quark nova model for fast radio bursts

Zachary Shand, Amir Ouyed, Nico Koning, Rachid Ouyed


Abstract Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are puzzling, millisecond, energetic radio transients with no discernible source; observations show no counterparts in other frequency bands. The birth of a quark star from a parent neutron star experiencing a quark nova - previously thought undetectable when born in isolation - provides a natural explanation for the emission characteristics of FRBs. The generation of unstable r-process elements in the quark nova ejecta provides millisecond exponential injection of electrons into the surrounding strong magnetic field at the parent neutron star’s light cylinder via β-decay. This radio synchrotron emission has a total duration of hundreds of milliseconds and matches the observed spectrum while reducing the inferred dispersion measure by approximately 200 cm−3 pc. The model allows indirect measurement of neutron star magnetic fields and periods in addition to providing astronomical measurements of β-decay chains of unstable neutron rich nuclei. Using this model, we can calculate expected FRB average energies (~1041 erg) and spectral shapes, and provide a theoretical framework for determining distances.


Keywords stars: neutron — nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances — radiation mechanisms: general — radio continuum: general

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