Kenji Toma - Kyoto University

Kenji Toma
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Kenji Toma
Kyoto University

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (28)
Astrophysics (11)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (9)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (7)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (4)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Physics - Theory (1)
Physics - Plasma Physics (1)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Kenji Toma

The Blandford-Znajek process, the steady electromagnetic energy extraction from a rotating black hole, is widely believed to work for driving relativistic jets, although it is still under debate where the electric current is driven. We address this issue analytically by investigating the time-dependent state in the Boyer-Lindquist and Kerr-Schild coordinate systems. This analysis suggests that a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic region is required in the time-dependent state, while not in the steady state. Read More

We investigate evolution of an accretion disc in binary black hole (BBH) systems and possible electromagnetic counterparts of the gravitational waves from mergers of BBHs. Perna et al. (2016) proposed a novel evolutionary scenario of an accretion disc in BBHs in which a disc eventually becomes "dead", i. Read More

Blandford-Znajek process, the steady electromagnetic energy extraction from a rotating black hole (BH), is widely believed to work for driving relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and Galactic microquasars, although it is still under debate how the Poynting flux is causally produced and how the rotational energy of the BH is reduced. We generically discuss the Kerr BH magnetosphere filled with a collisionless plasma screening the electric field along the magnetic field, extending the arguments of Komissarov and our previous paper, and propose a new picture for resolving the issues. For the magnetic field lines threading the equatorial plane in the ergosphere, we find that the inflow of particles with negative energy as measured in the coordinate basis is generated near that plane as a feedback from the Poynting flux production, which appears to be a similar process to the mechanical Penrose process. Read More

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are ideal probes of the epoch of the first stars and galaxies. We review the recent theoretical understanding of the formation and evolution of the first (so-called Population III) stars, in light of their viability of providing GRB progenitors. We proceed to discuss possible unique observational signatures of such bursts, based on the current formation scenario of long GRBs. Read More

We investigate stochastic particle acceleration in accretion flows. It is believed that the magnetorotational instability (MRI) generates turbulence inside accretion flows and that cosmic rays (CRs) are accelerated by the turbulence. We calculate equations of motion for CRs in the turbulent fields generated by MRI with the shearing box approximation without back reaction to the field. Read More

Affiliations: 1Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 3California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 5Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 6Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 7Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 8Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 9Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 10Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, 11California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 12California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 13Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 14Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 15Rice University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 16Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 17Georgia College, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy, 18Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 19Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 20North-West University, Centre for Space Research, 21Technical University of Denmark, DTU Space, National Space Institute, 22Yale University, Department of Astronomy, 23Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 24University of Virginia, Department of Astronomy, 25MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics Garching, 26Durham University, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Department of Physics, 27Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 28North Carolina State University, Department of Physics, 29Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 30Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 31Penn State University, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 32Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 33University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics, 34ASI Science Data Center, Italy, 35California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 37Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 38Purdue University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 39Texas Tech University, Physics Department, 40Nagoya University, Center for Experimental Studies, Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe, 41University of Maryland, Physics Department, 42RIKEN, 43Univ. of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Astronomy Dept, 44Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 45Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, 46Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 47Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 48Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 49Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 50NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 51Tohoku University, Astronomical Institute, 52NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This paper describes the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), a mission proposed to NASA's 2014 Small Explorer (SMEX) announcement of opportunity. PolSTAR measures the linear polarization of 3-50 keV (requirement; goal: 2.5-70 keV) X-rays probing the behavior of matter, radiation and the very fabric of spacetime under the extreme conditions close to the event horizons of black holes, as well as in and around magnetars and neutron stars. Read More

We examine the applicability of the stochastic electron acceleration to two high synchrotron peaked blazars, Mrk 421 and Mrk 501, assuming synchrotron self-Compton emission of gamma-rays. Our model considers an emitting region moving at relativistic speed, where non-thermal electrons are accelerated and attain a steady-state energy spectrum together with the photons they emit. The kinetic equations of the electrons and photons are solved numerically, given a stationary wave number spectrum of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) disturbances, which are responsible for the electron acceleration and escape. Read More

We study high-energy neutrino and cosmic-ray (CR) emission from the cores of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN). In LLAGN, the thermalization of particles is expected to be incomplete in radiatively inefficient accretion flows (RIAFs), allowing the existence of non-thermal particles. In this work, assuming stochastic particle acceleration due to turbulence in RIAFs, we solve the Fokker-Planck equation and calculate spectra of escaping neutrinos and CRs. Read More

We study effects of high-energy particles on the accretion flows onto a supermassive black hole and luminosities of escaping particles such as protons, neutrons, gamma-rays, and neutrinos. We formulate a one-dimensional model of the two-component accretion flow consisting of thermal particles and high-energy particles, supposing that some fraction of the released energy is converted to the acceleration of the high-energy particles. The thermal component is governed by fluid dynamics while the high-energy particles obey the moment equations of the diffusion-convection equation. Read More

One of the mechanisms widely considered for driving relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei, galactic microquasars, and gamma-ray bursts is the electromagnetic extraction of the rotational energy of a central black hole, i.e., the Blandford-Znajek process, although the origin of the electromotive force in this process is still under debate. Read More

The second-order Fermi acceleration (Fermi-II) driven by turbulence may be responsible for the electron acceleration in blazar jets. We test this model with time-dependent simulations. The hard electron spectrum predicted by the Fermi-II process agrees with the hard photon spectrum of 1ES 1101-232. Read More

We review the recent observational results of the gamma-ray linear polarization of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), and discuss some theoretical implications for the prompt emission mechanism and the magnetic composition of GRB jets. We also report a strict observational verification of CPT invariance in the photon sector as a result of the GRB polarization measurements. Read More

Relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei, galactic microquasars, and gamma-ray bursts are widely considered to be magnetohydrodynamically driven by black hole accretion systems, although conversion mechanism from Poynting into particle kinetic energy flux is still open. Recent detailed numerical and analytical studies of global structures of steady, axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flows with specific boundary conditions have not reproduced as rapid an energy conversion as required by observations. In order to find more suitable boundary conditions, we focus on the flow along a poloidal magnetic field line just inside the external boundary, without treating transfield force balance in detail. Read More

We outline the science prospects for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the next-generation ground-based gamma-ray observatory operating at energies above few tens of GeV. With its low energy threshold, large effective area and rapid slewing capabilities, CTA will be able to measure the spectra and variability of GRBs at multi-GeV energies with unprecedented photon statistics, and thereby break new ground in elucidating the physics of GRBs, which is still poorly understood. Such measurements will also provide crucial diagnostics of ultra-high-energy cosmic ray and neutrino production in GRBs, advance observational cosmology by probing the high-redshift extragalactic background light and intergalactic magnetic fields, and contribute to fundamental physics by testing Lorentz invariance violation with high precision. Read More

We report polarization measurements in two prompt emissions of gamma-ray bursts, GRB 110301A and GRB 110721A, observed with the Gamma-ray burst polarimeter (GAP) aboard IKAROS solar sail mission. We detected linear polarization signals from each burst with polarization degree of $\Pi = 70 \pm 22$% with statistical significance of $3.7 \sigma$ for GRB 110301A, and $\Pi = 84^{+16}_{-28}$% with $3. Read More

We report the strictest observational verification of CPT invariance in the photon sector, as a result of gamma-ray polarization measurement of distant gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which are brightest stellar-size explosions in the universe. We detected the gamma-ray polarization of three GRBs with high significance, and the source distances may be constrained by a well-known luminosity indicator for GRBs. For the Lorentz- and CPT-violating dispersion relation E_{\pm}^2=p^2 \pm 2\xi p^3/M_{Pl}, where \pm denotes different circular polarization states of the photon, the parameter \xi is constrained as |\xi|Read More

Plasmas of geometrically thick, black hole (BH) accretion flows in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are generally collisionless for protons, and involve magnetic field turbulence. Under such conditions a fraction of protons can be accelerated stochastically and create relativistic neutrons via nuclear collisions. These neutrons can freely escape from the accretion flow and decay into protons in dilute polar region above the rotating BH to form relativistic jets. Read More

We discuss the prospects for the detection of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) by the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the next generation, ground-based facility of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) operating above a few tens of GeV. By virtue of its fast slewing capabilities, the lower energy threshold compared to current IACTs, and the much larger effective area compared to satellite instruments, CTA can measure the spectra and variability of GRBs with excellent photon statistics at multi-GeV energies. Employing a model of the GRB population whose properties are broadly consistent with observations by the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) and Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard Fermi, we simulate follow-up observations of GRBs with the Large Size Telescopes (LSTs), the component of CTA with the fastest slew speed and the best sensitivity at energies below a few hundred GeV. Read More

We report the polarization measurement in prompt $\gamma$-ray emission of GRB 100826A with the Gamma-Ray Burst Polarimeter (GAP) aboard the small solar power sail demonstrator IKAROS. We detected the firm change of polarization angle (PA) during the prompt emission with 99.9% ($3. Read More

We discuss the high energy neutrino emission from gamma-ray bursts resulting from the earliest generation (`population III') stars forming in the Universe, whose core collapses into a black hole. These gamma-ray bursts are expected to produce a highly relativistic, magnetically dominated jet, where protons can be accelerated to ultra-high energies. These interact with the photons produced by the jet, leading to ultra-high energy photo-meson neutrinos as well as secondary leptons and photons. Read More

The origin of the shallow-decay emission during early X-ray afterglows has been an open issue since the launch of the Swift satellite. One of the appealing models is the late internal dissipation model, where X-ray emission during the shallow-decay phase is attributed to internal dissipation, analogous to the prompt gamma-ray emission. We discuss possible scenarios of the late prompt emission, such as late internal shocks, magnetic reconnection, and photospheric dissipation. Read More

Long-lived high-energy (>100MeV) emission, a common feature of most Fermi-LAT detected gamma-ray burst, is detected up to \sim 10^2 s in the short GRB 090510. We study the origin of this long-lived high-energy emission, using broad-band observations including X-ray and optical data. We confirm that the late > 100 MeV, X-ray and optical emission can be naturally explained via synchrotron emission from an adiabatic forward shock propagating into a homogeneous ambient medium with low number density. Read More

Population III stars are theoretically expected to be prominent around redshifts z ~ 20, consisting of mainly very massive stars with M_* >~ 10 M_sun$, but there is no direct observational evidence for these objects. They may produce collapsar gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), with jets driven by magnetohydrodynamic processes, whose total isotropic-equivalent energy could be as high as E_iso >~ 10^{57} erg over a cosmological-rest-frame duration of t_d >~ 10^4 s, depending on the progenitor mass. Here we calculate the afterglow spectra of such Pop. Read More

Radially inhomogeneous gamma-ray burst (GRB) jets release variable photospheric emission and can have internal shocks occurring above the photosphere. We generically formulate a photospheric emission model of GRBs including Compton up-scattered photospheric (UP) emission off the electrons (and positrons) in the internal shocks, and find that the photospheric emission may correspond to the traditional (Band) component at <~1 MeV and the UP emission to the high-energy emission observed by Fermi/LAT for some GRBs at >~ 10 MeV. The two components can be separate in the spectrum in some cases or can mimic a smooth broad Band spectrum in other cases. Read More

The Fermi satellite has been reporting the detailed temporal properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in an extremely broad spectral range, 8 keV - 300 GeV, in particular, the unexpected delays of the GeV emission onsets behind the MeV emission of some GRBs. We focus on GRB 080916C, one of the Fermi-LAT GRBs for which the data of the delayed high-energy emission are quite extensive, and we show that the behavior of the high-energy emission of this burst can be explained by a model in which the prompt emission consists of two components: one is the MeV component due to the synchrotron-self-Compton radiation of electrons accelerated in the internal shock of the jet and the other is the high-energy component due to inverse Compton scattering of the photospheric X-ray emission of the expanding cocoon off the same electrons in the jet. Such an external inverse Compton effect could be important for other Fermi-LAT GRBs, including short GRBs as well. Read More

We study high-energy gamma-ray afterglow emission from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in the prior emission model, which is proposed to explain the plateau phase of the X-ray afterglow. This model predicts the high-energy gamma-ray emission when the prompt GRB photons from the main flow are up-scattered by relativistic electrons accelerated at the external shock due to the prior flow. The expected spectrum has the peak of 10-100 GeV at around the end time of the plateau phase for typical GRBs, and high-energy gamma rays from nearby and/or energetic GRBs can be detected by current and future Cherenkov telescopes such as MAGIC, VERITAS, CTA, and possibly Fermi. Read More

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope recently detected the most energetic gamma-ray burst so far, GRB 080916C, and reported its detailed temporal properties in an extremely broad spectral range: (i) the time-resolved spectra are well described by broken power-law forms over the energy range of $10 {\rm keV}-10$ GeV, (ii) the high-energy emission (at $\epsilon > 100$ MeV) is delayed by $\approx 5$s with respect to the $\epsilon \lesssim 1$ MeV emission, and (iii) the emission onset times shift towards later times in the higher energy bands. We show that this behavior of the high-energy emission can be explained by a model in which the prompt emission consists of two components: one is the emission component peaking at $\epsilon \sim 1$ MeV due to the synchrotron-self-Compton radiation of electrons accelerated in the internal shock of the jet and the other is the component peaking at $\epsilon \sim 100$ MeV due to up-scattering of the photospheric X-ray emission of the expanding cocoon (i.e. Read More

We report on observations of correlated behavior between the prompt gamma-ray and optical emission from GRB 080319B, which confirm that (i) they occurred within the same astrophysical source region and (ii) their respective radiation mechanisms were dynamically coupled. Our results, based upon a new CCF methodology for determining the time-resolved spectral lag, are summarized as follows. First, the evolution in the arrival offset of prompt gamma-ray photon counts between Swift-BAT 15-25 keV and 50-100 keV energy bands (intrinsic gamma-ray spectral lag) appears to be anti-correlated with the arrival offset between prompt 15-350 keV gamma-rays and the optical emission observed by TORTORA (extrinsic optical/gamma-ray spectral lag), thus effectively partitioning the burst into two main episodes at ~T+28+/-2 sec. Read More

The emission mechanism and the origin and structure of magnetic fields in gamma-ray burst (GRB) jets are among the most important open questions concerning the nature of the central engine of GRBs. In spite of extensive observational efforts, these questions remain to be answered and are difficult or even impossible to infer with the spectral and lightcurve information currently collected. Polarization measurements will lead to unambiguous answers to several of these questions. Read More

The late-time optical/radio afterglows of $\gamma$-ray bursts (GRBs) are believed to be synchrotron emission of electrons accelerated in relativistic collisionless shocks propagating in the ambient medium of the sources. However, the fraction $f$ of electrons that are coupled to protons and accelerated remains unclear and a large number of thermal electrons that are not coupled to protons may be left behind. If $f<1$, the true explosion energies of GRBs are $f^{-1}$ times larger than those commonly estimated with $f=1$. Read More

We propose an emission mechanism of prompt gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) that can reproduce the observed non-thermal spectra with high radiative efficiencies, >50%. Internal dissipation below a photosphere can create a radiation-dominated thermal fireball. If electron-positron pairs outnumber protons, radiative acceleration of pairs drives the two-stream instabilities between pairs and protons, leading to the ``proton sedimentation'' in the accelerating pair frame. Read More

The gamma-ray burst (GRB) 060218 has ~ 10^5 times lower luminosity than typical long GRBs, and is associated with a supernova (SN). The radio afterglow displays no jet break, so that this burst might arise from a mildly-relativistic spherical outflow produced by the SN shock sweeping the stellar surface. Since this model is energetically difficult, we propose that the radio afterglow is produced by a non-relativistic phase of an initially collimated outflow (jet). Read More

Most X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) observed by the Swift satellite have a shallow decay phase t^{-1/2} in the first few hours. This is not predicted by the standard afterglow model and needs an explanation. We discuss that the shallow decay requires an unreasonably high gamma-ray efficiency, >75-90%, within current models, which is difficult to produce by internal shocks. Read More

Almost all the X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) observed by the Swift satellite have a shallow decay phase in the first thousands of seconds. We show that in an inhomogeneous jet (multiple-subjet or patchy-shell) model the superposition of the afterglows of off-axis subjets (patchy shells) can have the shallow decay phase. The necessary condition for obtaining the shallow decay phase is that gamma-ray bright subjets (patchy shells) should have gamma-ray efficiency higher than previously estimated, and should be surrounded by gamma-ray dim subjets (patchy shells) with low gamma-ray efficiency. Read More

Affiliations: 1Osaka University, 2Kyoto University, 3Kyoto University, 4Kyoto University
Category: Astrophysics

Tail emission of the prompt gamma-ray burst (GRB) is discussed using a multiple emitting sub-shell (inhomogeneous jet, sub-jets or mini-jets) model, where the whole GRB jet consists of many emitting sub-shells. One may expect that such a jet with angular inhomogeneity should produce spiky tail emission. However, we found that the tail is not spiky but is decaying roughly monotonically. Read More

We perform Monte Carlo simulations to study Ep-Eiso correlation in the context of a multiple subjet model (or inhomogeneous jet model) for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), X-ray--rich GRBs (XRRs), and X-ray flashes (XRFs). For a single subjet, we find that Ep prop. Eiso^0. Read More

A possible unified model of short and long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), X-ray rich GRBs, and X-ray flashes is proposed. It is assumed that the jet of a GRB consists of many emitting sub-shells (i.e. Read More


We propose a possible unified model of short and long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), X-ray rich GRBs, and X-ray flashes. The jet of a GRB is assumed to consist of multiple sub-jets or sub-shells (i.e. Read More

We study the distribution of the durations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in the unified model of short and long GRBs recently proposed by Yamazaki, Ioka, and Nakamura. Monte Carlo simulations show clear bimodal distributions, with lognormal-like shapes for both short and long GRBs, in a power-law as well as a Gaussian angular distribution of the subjets. We find that the bimodality comes from the existence of the discrete emission regions (subjets or patchy shells) in the GRB jet. Read More