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Physics  2002 

The Broadband Afterglow of GRB980329

DOI: 10.1086/342175

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We present radio observations of the afterglow of the bright gamma-ray burst GRB980329 made between one month and several years after the burst, a re-analysis of previously published submillimeter data, and late-time optical and near-infrared (NIR) observations of the host galaxy. From the absence of a spectral break in the optical/NIR colors of the host galaxy, we exclude the earlier suggestion that GRB980329 lies at a redshift of z >~5. We combine our data with the numerous multi-wavelength observations of the early afterglow, fit a comprehensive afterglow model to the entire broadband dataset, and derive fundamental physical parameters of the blast-wave and its host environment. Models for which the ejecta expand isotropically require both a high circumburst density and extreme radiative losses from the shock. No low density model (n << 10 cm^{-3}) fits the data. A burst with a total energy of ~ 10^{51} erg, with the ejecta narrowly collimated to an opening angle of a few degrees, driven into a surrounding medium with density ~ 20 cm^{-3}, provides a satisfactory fit to the lightcurves over a range of redshifts.


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