The Gamma Ray Burst section of the White Paper on the Status and Future of Very High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy: A Brief Preliminary Report
This is a short report on the preliminary findings of the gamma ray burst (GRB) working group for the white paper on the status and future of very high energy (VHE; >50 GeV) gamma-ray astronomy. The white paper discusses the status of past and current attempts to observe GRBs at GeV-TeV energies, including a handful of low-significance, possible detections. The white paper concentrates on the potential of future ground-based gamma-ray experiments to observe the highest energy emission ever recorded for GRBs, particularly for those that are nearby and have high Lorentz factors in the GRB jet. It is clear that the detection of VHE emission would have strong implications for GRB models, as well as cosmic ray origin. In particular, the extended emission phase (including both afterglow emission and possible flaring) of nearby long GRBs could provide the best possibility for detection. The difficult-to-obtain observations during the prompt phase of nearby long GRBs and short GRBs could also provide particularly strong constraints on the opacity and bulk Lorentz factors surrounding the acceleration site. The synergy with upcoming and existing observatories will, of course, be critical for both identification of GRBs and for multiwavelength/multimessenger studies.