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Paper: Cosmological Uses of Gamma-Ray Bursts
Volume: 312, Third Rome Workshop on Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Afterglow Era
Page: 249
Authors: Djorgovski, S.G.; Kulkarni, S.R.; Frail, D.A.; Harrison, F.A.; Bloom, J.S.; Berger, E.; Price, P.A.; Fox, D.; Soderberg, A.M.; Sari, R.; Yost, S.; Mahabal, A.A.; Castro, S.M.; Goodrich, R.; Chaffee, F.
Abstract: Studies of the cosmic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and their host galaxies are starting to provide interesting or even unique new insights in observational cosmology. GRBs represent a new way of identifying a population of star-forming galaxies at cosmological redshifts. GRB hosts are broadly similar to the normal field galaxy populations at comparable redshifts and magnitudes, and indicate at most a mild luminosity evolution out to z 1.5 ~ 2. GRB optical afterglows seen in absorption provide a powerful new probe of the ISM in dense, central regions of their host galaxies, complementary to the traditional studies using QSO absorbers. Some GRB hosts are heavily obscured, and provide a new way to select a population of cosmological sub-mm sources, and a novel constraint on the total obscured fraction of star formation over the history of the universe. Finally, detection of GRB afterglows at z > 6 may provide a unique way to probe the primordial star formation, massive IMF, early IGM, and chemical enrichment at the end of the cosmic reionization era.
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