SCYON Abstract

Received on May 08 2006

The redshift distribution of short γ-ray bursts from dynamically formed neutron star binaries

AuthorsClovis Hopman(1), Dafne Guetta(2), Eli Waxman(1) and Simon Portegies Zwart(3)
(1) Faculty of Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, POB 26, Rehovot 76100, Israel
(2) Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
(2) Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek"
Accepted byAstrophysical Journal Letters


Short-hard γ-ray bursts (SHBs) may arise from gravitational wave (GW) driven mergers of double neutron star (DNS) systems. DNSs may be "primordial" or can form dynamically by binary exchange interactions in globular clusters during core-collapse. For primordial binaries, the time delay between formation and merger is expected to be short, τ~0.1 Gyr, implying that the redshift distribution of merger events should follow that of star-formation. We point out here that for dynamically formed DNSs, the time delay between star-formation and merger is dominated by the cluster core-collapse time, rather than by the GW inspiral time, yielding delays comparable to the Hubble time. We derive the redshift distribution of merger events of dynamically formed DNSs, and find it to differ significantly from that typically expected for primordial binaries. The observed redshift distribution of SHBs favors dynamical formation, although a primordial origin cannot be ruled out due to possible detection biases. Future red-shift observations of SHBs may allow to determine whether they are dominated by primordial or dynamically formed DNSs.