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Periodic Fast Radio Bursts from Luminous X-ray Binaries

Presentation #425.06 in the session Compact Object Binaries.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Periodic Fast Radio Bursts from Luminous X-ray Binaries

The discovery of periodicity in the arrival times of the fast radio bursts (FRBs), and some of them being localized to old globular clusters pose a challenge to the oft-studied young magnetar engines for FRBs. The models that postulate that FRBs arise from magnetized shocks or magnetic reconnection in a relativistic outflow are not specific to magnetar engines; instead, they require only the impulsive injection of relativistic energy into a dense magnetized medium. Motivated thus, I will outline a new scenario in which periodic FRBs are powered by short-lived relativistic outflows from accreting compact objects, which propagate into the cavity of the pre-existing (“quiescent”) jet. In order to reproduce FRB luminosities and rates, we are driven to consider binaries of stellar-mass compact objects undergoing super-Eddington mass transfer, similar to ultraluminous X-ray (ULX) sources. Periodicity on timescales of days to years could be attributed to precession (e.g., Lens-Thirring) of the polar accretion funnel, along which the FRB emission is geometrically and relativistically beamed, which sweeps across the observer line of sight. The synchrotron bubbles/nebulae typically inflated by the disk winds/jet can be related to the persistent radio counterparts observed around some FRBs.

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