Marie Curie

January 2017 – January 2018, Marie Curie’ Fellowship, (incoming phase) INAF Bologna, Italy  

Responsibilities:
Conduct a full-time research project from the title “Cosmological standard candles”.
Mentored 1 undergraduate student from the Department of Statistics of the University of Bologna. 

Key achievements:

  • A review on selection biases that affect GRB prompt relations and their application as possible cosmological tools (Dainotti et al. 2018a).
  • Stratta, Dainotti et al. (2018) investigated how the statistical difference between the planes implies a difference from a theoretical point of view. They investigated that within the magnetar theoretical scenario long GRBs and short with extended emission lie in different regions of the magnetic fields and spin periods (P-B diagram). 
  • Study of the THESEUS space mission from the concept, the science case and the expected performance, Amati et al. (2018) including Dainotti
  • Study of THESEUS as a key space mission concept for multi-messenger Astrophysics (Stratta et al. 2018b) including Dainotti

February 2015 – June 2017, Marie Curie Fellowship (Outgoing Phase), Stanford University, USA 

Responsibilities:
Conduct a full-time research project from the title “Cosmological standard candles”.
Mentored 3 students in summer and in spring at the undergraduate level and high school level. Participation as a local organizer for the Conference on “Relativistic Jets: Creation, Dynamics, and Internal Physics” held in Krakow in April 2015. 

Key achievements:

  • The discovery that the Dainotti relations between prompt and afterglow GRB phases are intrinsic to the physics of GRBs and not due to selection bias (Dainotti et al. 2015b). This result has been achieved using statistical methods that consider the one side truncation; with this method, we were able to compute the peak luminosity evolution. Dainotti et al. (2015b) showed that the La-Ta has a power law slope different, within more than 2 sigma, from the slope of the prompt Lpeak-Ta correlation (Willingale et al. 2010) between the isotropic pulse peak luminosity, Lpeak, and the pulse duration, T?. Such a difference is also visible between the prompt and plateau phases in the energy-duration distributions. All these features open a new debate on whether the offsets are due to a selection effect or to a different emission mechanism between the prompt and the plateau phase.
  • The discovery of a fundamental plane (a 3D correlation among prompt and afterglow properties) obtained adding a third parameter, the observed luminosity at the GRB peak, to the La-Ta correlation. This is a much tighter relation that increases the utility of GRBs as standard candles. Indeed, this plane presents a reduction in the scatter of 54% compared to the previous bi-dimensional luminosity-time relation. These results were verified by using Monte Carlo simulations to prove that the 3D relation was not a random effect due to the sample size of GRBs (Dainotti et al. 2016). The results of this analysis were noted in press releases by NASA and the American Astronomical Society. 
  • To the aim of crucially reducing the correlation scatter for its effective use as a cosmological tool and a model discriminator, Dainotti et al. (2017c) investigated how the scatter may be reduced depending on the GRB class and on the quality of each GRB LC. They investigated the planes corresponding to each GRB class and showed that the distance of a given GRB from the gold plane discriminates between classes. For example, the fundamental plane relation is statistically different for LGRBs and SGRBs. 
  • A review of the GRB afterglow and prompt-afterglow relations and their application as possible cosmological tools (Dainotti & del Vecchio 2017).
  • A review on the GRB prompt relations A review on the GRB prompt relations and their application as possible cosmological tools (Dainotti et al. 2018a).
  • The discovery that the magnetars model, which explains the afterglow plateau phase, in its present form needs to account for super-magnetars with high magnetic fields (Rea et al. 2015).

February 2015 – January 2017, Marie Curie Fellowship (Outgoing Phase) Stanford University, USA 

Responsibilities:
Conduct a full-time research project from the title “Cosmological standard candles”.

Mentored 3 students in summer and in spring at the undergraduate level and high school level. Participation as a local organizer for the Conference on “Relativistic Jets: Creation, Dynamics, and Internal Physics” held in Krakow in April 2015. 

Key achievements:

  • The discovery that the Dainotti relations between prompt and afterglow GRB phases are intrinsic to the physics of GRBs and not due to selection bias (Dainotti et al. 2015b). This result has been achieved using statistical methods that consider the one side truncation; with this method, we were able to compute the peak luminosity evolution. Dainotti et al. (2015b) showed that the La-Ta has a power law slope different, within more than 2 sigma, from the slope of the prompt Lpeak-Tγ correlation (Willingale et al. 2010) between the isotropic pulse peak luminosity, Lpeak, and the pulse duration, Tγ. Such a difference is also visible between the prompt and plateau phases in the energy-duration distributions. All these features open a new debate on whether the offsets are due to a selection effect or to a different emission mechanism between the prompt and the plateau phase.
  • The discovery of a fundamental plane (a 3D correlation among prompt and afterglow properties) obtained adding a third parameter, the observed luminosity at the GRB peak, to the La-Ta correlation. This is a much tighter relation that increases the utility of GRBs as standard candles. Indeed, this plane presents a reduction in the scatter of 54% compared to the previous bi-dimensional luminosity-time relation. These results were verified by using Monte Carlo simulations to prove that the 3D relation was not a random effect due to the sample size of GRBs (Dainotti et al. 2016). Results of this analysis were noted in press releases by NASA and the American Astronomical Society. 
  • To the aim of crucially reducing the correlation scatter for its effective use as a cosmological tool and a model discriminator, Dainotti et al. (2017c) investigated how the scatter may be reduced depending on the GRB class and on the quality of each GRB LC. They investigated the planes corresponding to each GRB class and showed that the distance of a given GRB from the gold plane discriminates between classes. For example, the fundamental plane relation is statistically different for LGRBs and SGRBs. 

  ∙ A review on the GRB afterglow and prompt-afterglow relations and their application as possible cosmological tools (Dainotti & del Vecchio 2017).

  • A review on the GRB prompt relations A review on the GRB prompt relations and their application as possible cosmological tools (Dainotti et al. 2018a).

The discovery that the magnetars model, which explains the afterglow plateau phase, in its present form needs to account for super-magnetars with high magnetic fields (Rea et al. 2015).