Fast radio bursts
a Lomonosov Moscow State University, Shternberg State Astronomical Institute, Universitetskii prosp. 13, Moscow, 119889, Russian Federation
b Kazan Federal University, ul. Kremlyovskaya 18, Kazan, 420008, Russian Federation
c National Research University Higher School of Economics, ul. Myasnitskaya 20, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
d Institute for Nuclear Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, prosp. 60-letiya Oktyabrya 7a, Moscow, 117312, Russian Federation
e Astro Space Centre, Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Profsoyuznaya 84/32, Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation
First discovered in 2007, fast radio bursts (FRBs) are high power (10−1102 Jy), millisecond-scale, highly dispersive single radio pulses whose record high brightness temperatures suggest a non-thermal emission mechanism. As of March 2018, a total of 32 FRBs have been recorded. There is also one repeating source, from which hundreds of bursts have already been detected. The rate of events is estimated to be several thousand per day per sky (neglecting repeated bursts), and their isotropic distribution on the sky suggests a likely cosmological origin. While numerous hypotheses have been proposed for FRBs since their discovery, the origin of these transients is not yet known. The most promising models either relate them to burst-type radiation from magnetars (neutron stars powered by the dissipation of their magnetic energy) or consider them analogous to giant pulses from some radio pulsars (strongly magnetized rotating neutron stars). Increasing statistics on the observed bursts and improving the characterization of the FRB population will allow the FRBs to become another tool to probe the intergalactic medium, estimate the cosmological parameters and test fundamental physical theories.