Since their discovery was first announced in 1973, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been among the most fascination objects in the universe. While the initial mystery has gone, the fascination continues, sustained by the close connection linking GRBs with some of the most fundamental topics in modern astrophysics and cosmology. Both authors have been active in GRB observations for over two decades and have produced an outstanding account on both the history and the perspectives of GRB research.
The first historical test on the theory has been the deflection of light grazing
the solar surface (Eddington 1919): the compatibility of the theory with
this first experiment together with its ability to explain the magnitude of the
perihelion advance of Mercury contributed strongly to boost acceptance and
In the late 1990s, the gamma-ray burst (GRB) community ignited the current excitement over transient astronomical
events. Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) were a real enigma until ultra-fast event dissemination allowed optical identification
of afterglows, leading to rich data and rich science. The events back then were both valuable and infrequent: every new
GRB could make a career for a young astronomer, and they were only detected every few days.
She burst into my office, her cheesy grin a ray of sunshine on a cold, dark, rainy
winter’s afternoon. “Detective, er … Um?” she said looking at the name plate on the frosted glass door panel. I fumbled as I stood from where I had been dozing at my desk, trying without success to keep my brain from going blank, rows of Zs stretching across my computer screen where my finger had come to rest. “The name’s Ulm,”