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Study sheds new light on origin of fast radio bursts

by Tunae

The long-time exposure photo taken on July 25, 2022 shows a night view of China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) under maintenance in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

A Chinese research team has introduced a novel method for a comprehensive analysis of the behaviors of active fast radio bursts (FRBs) in the time-energy domain and revealed the randomness of the behaviors.

FRBs are intense pulses of radio emission that last just a few milliseconds. The origin of these brightest cosmic explosions in radio bands remains unknown.

Based on the rich data of China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), a research team at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) proposed a new analysis framework that is able to quantify the randomness and chaotic nature of the bursting events.

The study reveals that the FRBs’ behaviors in the time-energy domain are fundamentally different from those of common transient physical phenomena such as earthquakes and solar flares, and exhibit a high degree of randomness like a Brownian motion, shedding new light on the origin of FRBs.

The excellent observation capabilities of FAST, combined with innovative analytical methods, will enable in-depth study of mysterious burst signals in the universe, which is expected to eventually reveal their origin, said Li Di, from NAOC, who led the study.

The study was published Friday as a cover paper in the journal Science Bulletin.

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