The photospheric origin of the Yonetoku relation in gamma-ray bursts

Hirotaka Ito, Jin Matsumoto, Shigehiro Nagataki, Donald C. Warren, Maxim V. Barkov, Daisuke Yonetoku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Long duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest events since the Big Bang itself, are believed to originate in an ultra-relativistic jet breaking out from a massive stellar envelope. Despite decades of study, there is still no consensus on their emission mechanism. One unresolved question is the origin of the tight correlation between the spectral peak energy and peak luminosity discovered in observations. This Yonetoku relation is the tightest correlation found in the properties of the prompt phase of GRB emission, providing the best diagnostic for the radiation mechanism. Here we present three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations, and post-process radiation transfer calculations, of photospheric emission from a relativistic jet. Our simulations reproduce the Yonetoku relation as a natural consequence of viewing angle. Although jet dynamics depend sensitively on luminosity, the correlation holds regardless. This result strongly suggests that photospheric emission is the dominant component in the prompt phase of GRBs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1504
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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