How real detector thresholds create false standard candles

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Conference Proceeding

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GRB satellites are relatively inefficient detectors of dim hard bursts. For example, given two bursts of identical peak luminosity near the detection threshold, a dim soft burst will be preferentially detected over a dim hard burst. This means that a high Epeak burst will need a higher peak luminosity to be detected than a low Epeak GRB. This purely detector-created attribute will appear as a correlation between Epeak and luminosity, and should not be interpreted as a real standard candle effect. This result derives from Monte Carlo simulations utilizing a wide range of initial GRB spectra, and retriggering to create a final "detected" sample. In sum, Epeak is not a good standard candle, and its appearance as such in seeming correlations such as the Amati and other Liso vs. Epeak relations is likely a ghost of real energy-related detection thresholds. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.

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AIP Conference Proceedings