Felix Ryde - KTH, Stockholm

Felix Ryde
Are you Felix Ryde?

Claim your profile, edit publications, add additional information:

Contact Details

Felix Ryde
KTH, Stockholm

Pubs By Year

Pub Categories

Astrophysics (28)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (21)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Felix Ryde

A major breakthrough in our understanding of gamma-ray bursts (GRB) prompt emission physics occurred in the last few years, with the realization that a thermal component accompanies the over-all non-thermal prompt spectra. This thermal part is important by itself, as it provides direct probe of the physics in the innermost outflow regions. It further has an indirect importance, as a source of seed photons for inverse-Compton scattering, thereby it contributes to the non-thermal part as well. Read More

We study the properties of a significant thermal emission component that was identified in 47 GRBs observed by different instruments. Within the framework of the "fireball" model, we deduce the values of the Lorentz factor Gamma, and the acceleration radius, r_0, for these bursts. We find that all the values of Gamma in our sample are in the range 10^2 <= Gamma <= 10^3, with = 370. Read More

The prompt emission of the long, smooth, and single-pulsed gamma-ray burst, GRB $\textit{141028A}$, is analyzed under the guise of an external shock model. First, we fit the $\gamma$-ray spectrum with a two-component photon model, namely synchrotron+blackbody, and then fit the recovered evolution of the synchrotron $\nu F_{\nu}$ peak to an analytic model derived considering the emission of a relativistic blast-wave expanding into an external medium. The prediction of the model for the $\nu F_{\nu}$ peak evolution matches well with the observations. Read More

The origin of the prompt emission in gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is still an unsolved problem and several different mechanisms have been suggested. Here we fit Fermi GRB data with a photospheric emission model which includes dissipation of the jet kinetic energy below the photosphere. The resulting spectra are dominated by Comptonization and contain no significant contribution from synchrotron radiation. Read More

The external forward shock (EFS) models have been the standard paradigm to interpret the broad-band afterglow data of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). One prediction of the models is that some afterglow temporal breaks at different energy bands should be achromatic. Observations in the Swift era have revealed chromatic afterglow behaviors at least in some GRBs, casting doubts on the EFS origin of GRB afterglows. Read More

We study an extensive sample of 87 GRBs for which there are well sampled and simultaneous optical and X-ray light-curves. We extract the cleanest possible signal of the afterglow component, and compare the temporal behaviors of the X-ray light-curve, observed by Swift XRT, and optical data, observed by UVOT and ground-based telescopes for each individual burst. Overall we find 62\% GRBs that are consistent with the standard afterglow model. Read More

The analysis of gamma-ray burst (GRB) spectra with multi-component emission models has become an important part of the field. In particular, multi-component analysis where one component is a blackbody representing emission from a photosphere has enabled both a more detailed understanding of the energy content of the jet as well as the ability to examine the dynamic structure of the outflow. While the existence of a blackbody-like component has been shown to be significant and not a byproduct of background fluctuations, it is very possible that it can be an artifact of spectral evolution of a single component that is being poorly resolved in time. Read More

The long standing problem of identifying the emission mechanism operating in gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) has produced a myriad of possible models that have the potential of explaining the observations. Generally, the empirical Band function is fit to the observed gamma-ray data and the fit parameters are used to infer which radiative mechanisms are at work in GRB outflows. In particular, the distribution of the Band function's low-energy power law index, $\alpha$, has led to the so-called synchrotron "line-of-death" (LOD) which is a statement that the distribution cannot be explained by the simplest of synchrotron models alone. Read More

Recent observations by the $Fermi$ Gamma-ray Space Telescope have confirmed the existence of thermal and non-thermal components in the prompt photon spectra of some Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Through an analysis of six bright Fermi GRBs, we have discovered a correlation between the observed photospheric and non-thermal $\gamma$-ray emission components of several GRBs using a physical model that has previously been shown to be a good fit to the Fermi data. From the spectral parameters of these fits we find that the characteristic energies, $E_{\rm p}$ and $kT$, of these two components are correlated via the relation $E_{\rm p} \propto T^{\alpha}$ which varies from GRB to GRB. Read More

We consider the polarization properties of photospheric emission originating in jets consisting of a highly relativistic core of opening angle theta_j and Lorentz factor Gamma_0, and a surrounding shear layer where the Lorentz factor is decreasing as a power law of index p with angle from the jet axis. We find significant degrees of linear polarization for observers located at viewing angles theta_v \gtrsim theta_j. In particular, the polarization degree of emission from narrow jets (theta_j \approx 1/Gamma_0) with steep Lorentz factor gradients (p \gtrsim 4) reaches \sim 40%. Read More

Authors: Paolo Soffitta, Xavier Barcons, Ronaldo Bellazzini, João Braga, Enrico Costa, George W. Fraser, Szymon Gburek, Juhani Huovelin, Giorgio Matt, Mark Pearce, Juri Poutanen, Victor Reglero, Andrea Santangelo, Rashid A. Sunyaev, Gianpiero Tagliaferri, Martin Weisskopf, Roberto Aloisio, Elena Amato, Primo Attiná, Magnus Axelsson, Luca Baldini, Stefano Basso, Stefano Bianchi, Pasquale Blasi, Johan Bregeon, Alessandro Brez, Niccoló Bucciantini, Luciano Burderi, Vadim Burwitz, Piergiorgio Casella, Eugene Churazov, Marta Civitani, Stefano Covino, Rui Miguel Curado da Silva, Giancarlo Cusumano, Mauro Dadina, Flavio D'Amico, Alessandra De Rosa, Sergio Di Cosimo, Giuseppe Di Persio, Tiziana Di Salvo, Michal Dovciak, Ronald Elsner, Chris J. Eyles, Andrew C. Fabian, Sergio Fabiani, Hua Feng, Salvatore Giarrusso, René W. Goosmann, Paola Grandi, Nicolas Grosso, Gianluca Israel, Miranda Jackson, Philip Kaaret, Vladimir Karas, Michael Kuss, Dong Lai, Giovanni La Rosa, Josefin Larsson, Stefan Larsson, Luca Latronico, Antonio Maggio, Jorge Maia, Frédéric Marin, Marco Maria Massai, Teresa Mineo, Massimo Minuti, Elena Moretti, Fabio Muleri, Stephen L. O'Dell, Giovanni Pareschi, Giovanni Peres, Melissa Pesce, Pierre-Olivier Petrucci, Michele Pinchera, Delphine Porquet, Brian Ramsey, Nanda Rea, Fabio Reale, Juana Maria Rodrigo, Agata Różańska, Alda Rubini, Pawel Rudawy, Felix Ryde, Marco Salvati, Valdivino Alexandre de Santiago Júnior, Sergey Sazonov, Carmelo Sgró, Eric Silver, Gloria Spandre, Daniele Spiga, Luigi Stella, Toru Tamagawa, Francesco Tamborra, Fabrizio Tavecchio, Teresa Teixeira Dias, Matthew van Adelsberg, Kinwah Wu, Silvia Zane

X-ray polarimetry, sometimes alone, and sometimes coupled to spectral and temporal variability measurements and to imaging, allows a wealth of physical phenomena in astrophysics to be studied. X-ray polarimetry investigates the acceleration process, for example, including those typical of magnetic reconnection in solar flares, but also emission in the strong magnetic fields of neutron stars and white dwarfs. It detects scattering in asymmetric structures such as accretion disks and columns, and in the so-called molecular torus and ionization cones. Read More

{\it Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope} observations of GRB110721A have revealed two emission components from the relativistic jet: emission from the photosphere, peaking at $\sim 100$ keV and a non-thermal component, which peaks at $\sim 1000$ keV. We use the photospheric component to calculate the properties of the relativistic outflow. We find a strong evolution in the flow properties: the Lorentz factor decreases with time during the bursts from $\Gamma \sim 1000$ to $\sim 150$ (assuming a redshift $z=2$; the values are only weakly dependent on unknown efficiency parameters). Read More

Several claims have been put forward that an essential fraction of long-duration BATSE gamma-ray bursts should lie at redshifts larger than 5. This point-of-view follows from the natural assumption that fainter objects should, on average, lie at larger redshifts. However, redshifts larger than 5 are rare for bursts observed by Swift. Read More

Relativistic outflows in the form of jets are common in many astrophysical objects. By their very nature, jets have angle dependent velocity profiles, Gamma = Gamma(r, theta, phi), where Gamma is the outflow Lorentz factor. In this work we consider photospheric emission from non-dissipative jets with various Lorentz factor profiles, of the approximate form Gamma \approx Gamma_0/[(theta/theta_j)^p + 1], were theta_j is the characteristic jet opening angle. Read More

The emission from a gamma-ray burst (GRB) photosphere can give rise to a variety of spectral shapes. The spectrum can retain the shape of a Planck function or it can be broadened and have the shape of a Band function. This fact is best illustrated by studying GRB090902B: The main gamma-ray spectral component is initially close to a Planck function, which can only be explained by emission from the jet photosphere. Read More

Several claims have been put forward that an essential fraction of long-duration BATSE gamma-ray bursts should lie at redshifts larger than 5. This point-of-view follows from the natural assumption that fainter objects should, on average, lie at larger redshifts. However, redshifts larger than 5 are rare for bursts observed by Swift, seemingly contradicting the BATSE estimates. Read More

To date, there have been several detections of high-mass black hole binaries in both the Milky Way and other galaxies. For some of these, the spin parameter of the black hole has been estimated. As many of these systems are quite tight, a suggested origin of the spin is angular momentum imparted by the synchronous rotation of the black hole progenitor with its binary companion. Read More

Observations of GRB 100724B with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor (GBM) find that the spectrum is dominated by the typical Band functional form, which is usually taken to represent a non-thermal emission component, but also includes a statistically highly significant thermal spectral contribution. The simultaneous observation of the thermal and non-thermal components allows us to confidently identify the two emission components. The fact that these seem to vary independently favors the idea that the thermal component is of photospheric origin while the dominant non-thermal emission occurs at larger radii. Read More

We consider the emission of photons from the inner parts of a relativistically expanding plasma outflow, characterized by a constant Lorentz factor, Gamma. Photons that are injected in regions of high optical depth are advected with the flow until they escape at the photosphere. Due to multiple scattering below the photosphere, the locally emerging comoving photon distribution is thermal. Read More

Photospheric (thermal) emission is inherent to the gamma-ray burst (GRB) "fireball" model. We show here, that inclusion of this component in the analysis of the GRB prompt emission phase naturally explains some of the prompt GRB spectra seen by the Fermi satellite over its entire energy band. The sub-MeV peak is explained as multi-color black body emission, and the high energy tail, extending up to the GeV band, results from roughly similar contributions of synchrotron emission, synchrotron self Compton(SSC) and Comptonization of the thermal photons by energetic electrons originating after dissipation of the kinetic energy above the photosphere. Read More

Recent analyses show evidence for a thermal emission component that accompanies the non-thermal emission during the prompt phase of GRBs. First, we show the evidence for the existence of this component; Second, we show that this component is naturally explained by considering emission from the photosphere, taking into account high latitude emission from optically thick relativistically expanding plasma. We show that the thermal flux is expected to decay at late times as F_BB ~ t^{-2}, and the observed temperature as T ~ t^{-\alpha}, with \alpha ~ 1/2 - 2/3. Read More

In recent years there has been considerable activity in using gamma-ray bursts as cosmological probes for determining global cosmological parameters complementing results from type Ia supernovae and other methods. This requires a characteristics of the source to be a standard candle. We show that contrary to earlier indications the accumulated data speak against this possibility. Read More

We perform time-resolved spectroscopy on the prompt emission in gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and identify a thermal, photospheric component peaking at a temperature of a few hundreds keV. This peak does not necessarily coincide with the broad band (keV-GeV) power peak. We show that this thermal component exhibits a characteristic temporal behavior. Read More

We describe a new balloon-borne instrument (PoGOLite) capable of detecting 10% polarisation from 200mCrab point-like sources between 25 and 80keV in one 6 hour flight. Polarisation measurements in the soft gamma-ray band are expected to provide a powerful probe into high-energy emission mechanisms as well as the distribution of magnetic fields, radiation fields and interstellar matter. At present, only exploratory polarisation measurements have been carried out in the soft gamma-ray band. Read More

The prompt emission from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) still requires a physical explanation. Studies of time-resolved GRB spectra, observed in the keV-MeV range, show that a hybrid model consisting of two components, a photospheric and a non-thermal component, in many cases fits bright, single-pulsed bursts as well as, and in some instances even better than, the Band function. With an energy coverage from 8 keV up to 300 GeV, GLAST will give us an unprecedented opportunity to further investigate the nature of the prompt emission. Read More

In recent years increasing evidence has emerged for a thermal component in the gamma- and X-ray spectrum of the prompt emission phase in gamma-ray bursts. The temperature and flux of the thermal component show a characteristic break in the temporal behavior after a few seconds. We show here, that measurements of the temperature and flux of the thermal component at early times (before the break) allow the determination of the values of two of the least restricted fireball model parameters: the size at the base of the flow and the outflow bulk Lorentz factor. Read More

We present a physical framework that can account for most of the observed spectral properties of the prompt gamma-ray burst emission. This includes the variety of spectral shapes, shape evolutions, and spectral correlations between flux and spectral peak, within bursts described by Borgonovo & Ryde, and among bursts described by Amati/Ghirlanda. In our proposed model the spectral peak is given by the photospheric emission from a relativistic outflow for which the horizon length is much smaller than the radial width. Read More

Authors: Felix Ryde1
Affiliations: 1Stockholm University
Category: Astrophysics

I discuss the interpretation of the prompt phase in gamma-ray bursts as being dominated by quasi-thermal emission, rather than by synchrotron emission. Such an interpretation gives a more natural explanation of (i) the observed variety of spectral shape and spectral evolution, (ii) the observed narrowness of the distribution of peak energies, as well as (iii) the observed correlations between peak energy and luminosity. However, the physical setting that could produce such a scenario is not yet clear. Read More

Affiliations: 1Stockholm University, 2Stockholm University
Category: Astrophysics

The spectra of the majority of bursts exhibit a low-energy power law index, alpha, that is either a constant or becomes softer with time. However, in the burst of 30 May 1996 alpha becomes harder. Here we show that this behavior can be explained by a hybrid model consisting of a thermal and a non-thermal component. Read More

Authors: Felix Ryde1
Affiliations: 1Stockholm University
Category: Astrophysics

The prompt emission of gamma-ray bursts has yet defied any simple explanation, despite the presence of a rich observational material and great theoretical efforts. Here we show that all the types of spectral evolution and spectral shapes that have been observed can indeed be described with one and the same model, namely a hybrid model of a thermal and a non-thermal component. We further show that the thermal component is the key emission process determining the spectral evolution. Read More

We analyze the spectral lags of a sample of bright gamma-ray burst pulses observed by CGRO BATSE and compare these with the results of high-resolution spectroscopical investigations. We find that pulses with hard spectra have the largest lags, and that there is a similar, but weaker correlation between hardness-intensity correlation index, eta, and lag. We also find that the lags differ considerably between pulses within a burst. Read More

We describe the strong spectral evolution that occurs during a gamma-ray burst pulse and the means by which it can be analyzed. Based on observed empirical correlations, an analytical model is constructed which is used to describe the pulse shape and quantize the spectral lags and their dependences on the spectral evolution parameters. We find that the spectral lag depends mainly on the pulse-decay time-scale and that hard spectra (with large spectral power-law indices alpha) give the largest lags. Read More

Emission-lines of magnesium at 12 microns have been observed in the spectrum of Procyon. We reproduce the observed, disk-averaged line flux from Procyon (as well as the observed intensity profiles from the Sun) by calculating the line formation, relaxing the assumption of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium. We find that the lines in Procyon are formed in the photosphere in the same manner as the solar lines. Read More

Authors: Felix Ryde1
Affiliations: 1Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

We discuss gamma-ray bursts that have very hard spectra, consistent with black-body radiation, throughout their duration. We find that the temperature decay during a pulse can be well described by a broken power-law in time, with an initially constant or weak decay. After the break, most cases are consistent with a decay with index -2/3. Read More

We analyze the time profiles of individual gamma-ray burst (GRB) pulses, that are longer than 2 s, by modelling them with analytical functions that are based empirical descriptions of GRB spectral evolution. These analytical profiles are independent of the emission mechanism and can be used to model both the rise and decay profiles Using this method, we have studied a sample of 77 individual GRB pulses, allowing us to examine the fluence, pulse width, asymmetry, and rise and decay power-law distributions. We find that the rise phase is best modelled with a power law of average index $r = 1. Read More

Affiliations: 1Stockholm Observatory, 2Stanford University, 3Stockholm Observatory, 4Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

We compare the energy and count fluxes obtained by integrating over the finite bandwidth of BATSE with a measure proportional to the bolometric energy flux, the phi-measure, introduced by Borgonovo & Ryde. We do this on a sample of 74 bright, long, and smooth pulses from 55 GRBs. The correction factors show a fairly constant behavior over the whole sample, when the signal-to-noise-ratio is high enough. Read More


Several patterns have been discovered in how some spectral characteristics change during the decaying phase of long (> few s.) GRB pulses. We compare these observed signatures with those expected from a relativistically expanding shell. Read More

Affiliations: 1Stanford University, 2Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

We find and study a variety of the spectral-temporal behavior during the decay phase of long and bright GRB pulses. Even though only a small fraction of observed bursts exhibit such pulses, these are of interest to study as they reflect individual emission episodes during the burst. We have previously found that for about half of these decays, the instantaneous photon flux ~ 1/time, which is a consequence of the validity of both a power-law hardness-intensity correlation (HIC) and an exponential hardness-fluence correlation (HFC). Read More

Within the framework of the internal shock model, we study the luminosity and the variability in gamma-ray bursts from collimated fireballs. In particular we pay attention to the role of the photosphere due to $e^\pm$ pairs produced by internal shock synchrotron photons. It is shown that the observed Cepheid-like relationship between the luminosity and the variability can be interpreted as a correlation between the opening angle of the fireball jet and the mass included at the explosion with a standard energy output. Read More

Affiliations: 1Stanford, 2Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

We find and study a variety of the spectral-temporal behavior during the decay phase of the light curve of long and bright pulse structures in gamma-ray bursts. It was earlier found that for about half of these decays, the instantaneous photon flux is consistent with a power law in time, where the photon flux $\propto$ 1/time. This decay behavior is a consequence of the validity of both a power law hardness-intensity correlation (HIC) and an exponential hardness-fluence correlation (HFC). Read More

Affiliations: 1Stockholm Observatory, 2Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

We study the hardness-intensity correlation (HIC) in gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). In particular, we analyze the decay phase of pulse structures in their light curves. The study comprises a sample of 82 long pulses selected from 66 long bursts observed by BATSE on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. Read More

We present observations of the peculiar supernova SN 1998bw, which was probably associated with GRB 980425. The photometric and spectroscopic evolution is monitored up to 500 days past explosion. We also present modeling based on spherically symmetric, massive progenitor models and very energetic explosions. Read More

For the first time, the consequences of combining two well-established empirical relations, describing different aspects of the spectral evolution of observed gamma-ray burst (GRB) pulses, are explored. These empirical relations are: i) the hardness-intensity correlation, and ii) the hardness-photon fluence correlation. From these we find a self-consistent, quantitative, and compact description for the temporal evolution of pulse decay phases within a GRB light curve. Read More

Authors: Felix Ryde1
Affiliations: 1Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

A review on the spectral and temporal properties of gamma-ray bursts is given. Special attention is paid to the spectral evolution of their continuum emission and its connection to the time evolution of the intensity. Efforts on systematizing these observations as well as the effects due the limitations of the current detectors on the observed sample are discussed. Read More

A five-parameter expression for a smoothly broken power law is presented. It is used to fit Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) spectra observed by BATSE. The function is compared to previously used four-parameter functions, such as a sharply broken power law and the Band et al. Read More

Affiliations: 1Stockholm Observatory, 2Stockholm Observatory
Category: Astrophysics

The discovery (Liang & Kargatis 1996), that the peak energy of time-resolved spectra of gamma-ray burst (GRB) pulses decays exponentially with fluence, is analytically shown to imply that the time-integrated photon number spectrum of a pulse should have a unique shape, given by an underlying E^-1 behavior. We also show that the asymptotic low energy normalization of the time-integrated spectrum is equal to the exponential decay constant. We study analytically how this general behavior is modified in more realistic situations and show that diversity is then introduced in the properties of time-integrated GRB pulse spectra. Read More

Accreting black holes radiate in one of several spectral states, switching from one to another for reasons that are as yet not understood. Using the best studied example, Cyg X-1, we identify the geometry and physical conditions characterizing these states. In particular, we show that in the hard state most of the accretion energy is dissipated in a corona-like structure which fills the inner few tens of gravitational radii around the black hole and has Compton optical depth of order unity. Read More

A broad band X-, gamma-ray spectral study of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 7172 is presented. We use our ASCA observations from May 1995 and combine these with the CGRO OSSE data from March 1995. The only Seyfert 2 galaxy previously to have been modelled over such a broad spectral range is NGC 4945. Read More

Using simple analytical estimates we show how the physical parameters characterizing different spectral states of the galactic black hole candidates can be determined using spectral data presently available. Read More

We present a combined, non-simultaneous, ASCA GIS and CGRO OSSE spectrum of the Seyfert 2 galaxy, NGC 7172, and make broad band spectral fits. The only Seyfert 2 galaxy previously studied over such a broad band is NGC 4945. We find that the most probable model for the data is a power law with an exponential cut-off being affected by a neutral absorber. Read More