Unveiling the progenitor of Fast Radio Bursts

Marilyn Cruces (MPIfR / NAOC Postdoctoral researcher.)

A new and rapidly evolving field in astronomy is Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). They are an observational phenomenon consisting of bright flashes at extragalactic distances and detected exclusively at radio frequencies. Their coherent and narrow pulses probe the large distances they have travelled and thus, FRBs have been proposed as a powerful cosmological tool to probe the epoch of re-ionisation, the homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe ; and testing fundamental physics such as the weak equivalence principle and the photon rest mass. Although their origin remains mysterious, the most popular scenarios associate FRBs with highly magnetised neutron stars, known as magnetars.
In this talk, we will review the key recent observational results : the repetition pattern and periodic activity phases, their dynamic local environment and the implications of the association to persistent radio sources of yet unknown origin.