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Search of the energetic gamma-ray experiment telescope (EGRET) data for high-energy gamma-ray microsecond bursts
Fichtel, C. E.; Bertsch, D. L.; Dingus, B. L.; Esposito, J. A.; Hartman, R. C.; Hunter, S. D.; Kanbach, G.; Kniffen, D. A.; Lin, Y. C.; Mattox, J. R.; Mayer-Hasselwander, H. A.; McDonald, L.; Michelson, P. F.; von Montigny, C.; Nolan, P. L.; Schneid, E. J.; Sreekumar, P.; Thompson, D. J.
AA(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AB(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AC(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AD(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AE(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AF(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AG(Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AH(Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AI(Stanford University, Stanford, CA, US), AJ(Stanford University, Stanford, CA, US)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 434, no. 2, p. 557-559 (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Black Holes (Astronomy), Decay, Gamma Ray Astronomy, Gamma Ray Bursts, Quantum Mechanics, Gamma Ray Observatory, Gamma Ray Telescopes, Sas-2, Statistical Analysis
Bibliographic Code:


Hawking (1974) and Page & Hawking (1976) investigated theoretically the possibility of detecting high-energy gamma rays produced by the quantum-mechanical decay of a small black hole created in the early universe. They concluded that, at the very end of the life of the small black hole, it would radiate a burst of gamma rays peaked near 250 MeV with a total energy of about 1034 ergs in the order of a microsecond or less. The characteristics of a black hole are determined by laws of physics beyond the range of current particle accelerators; hence, the search for these short bursts of high-energy gamma rays provides at least the possibility of being the first test of this region of physics. The Compton Observatory Energetic Gamma-Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) has the capability of detecting directly the gamma rays from such bursts at a much fainter level than SAS 2, and a search of the EGRET data has led to an upper limit of 5 x 10-2 black hole decays per cu pc per yr, placing constraints on this and other theories predicting microsecond high-energy gamma-ray bursts.

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