Dicke’s Superradiance -- From millisecond fast radio bursts (FRBs) to multiyear maser bursts



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
18060007

Abstract

Burst phenomena are ubiquitous in astrophysics. Understanding the origin of bright and rapid bursts, like FRBs, is an important goal of contemporary astrophysics.  We apply Dicke's superradiance, a coherent quantum mechanical radiation mechanism, to explain these burst phenomena. We show that bursts lasting from a few milliseconds (FRBs) to a few years (e.g. OH masers) can be produced by very large groups of entangled atoms/molecules. This is in contrast with the common assumption that, in the interstellar medium, the atoms/molecules in a radiating gas act independently from each other. Superradiance, a well-known and intensely studied phenomenon in the physics community, was first discussed by R. H. Dicke in 1954. I will present our superradiance models developed to explain some maser flares and FRBs, and discuss our results for the 6.7-GHz methanol, 1612-MHz OH, and 22-GHz water spectral lines. Our analyses suggest that the aforementioned groups of entangled atoms/molecules, developing over distances of up to a few kilometers for maser flares and 1000 AU for FRBs, can reproduce the observed light curves