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  1. ABSTRACT

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-time-scale radio transients, the origins of which are predominantly extragalactic and likely involve highly magnetized compact objects. FRBs undergo multipath propagation, or scattering, from electron density fluctuations on sub-parsec scales in ionized gas along the line of sight. Scattering observations have located plasma structures within FRB host galaxies, probed Galactic and extragalactic turbulence, and constrained FRB redshifts. Scattering also inhibits FRB detection and biases the observed FRB population. We report the detection of scattering times from the repeating FRB 20190520B that vary by up to a factor of 2 or more on minutes to days-long time-scales. In one notable case, the scattering time varied from 7.9 ± 0.4 ms to less than 3.1 ms ($95{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ confidence) over 2.9 min at 1.45 GHz. The scattering times appear to be uncorrelated between bursts or with dispersion and rotation measure variations. Scattering variations are attributable to dynamic, inhomogeneous plasma in the circumsource medium, and analogous variations have been observed from the Crab pulsar. Under such circumstances, the frequency dependence of scattering can deviate from the typical power law used to measure scattering. Similar variations may therefore be detectable from other FRBs, even those with inconspicuous scattering, providing a unique probe of small-scale processes within FRB environments.

     
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  2. Abstract

    The repeating fast radio burst FRB 20190520B is localized to a galaxy atz= 0.241, much closer than expected given its dispersion measure DM = 1205 ± 4 pc cm−3. Here we assess implications of the large DM and scattering observed from FRB 20190520B for the host galaxy’s plasma properties. A sample of 75 bursts detected with the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope shows scattering on two scales: a mean temporal delayτ(1.41 GHz) = 10.9 ± 1.5 ms, which is attributed to the host galaxy, and a mean scintillation bandwidth Δνd(1.41 GHz) = 0.21 ± 0.01 MHz, which is attributed to the Milky Way. Balmer line measurements for the host imply an Hαemission measure (galaxy frame) EMs= 620 pc cm−6× (T/104K)0.9, implying DMHαof order the value inferred from the FRB DM budget,DMh=1121138+89pc cm−3for plasma temperatures greater than the typical value 104K. Combiningτand DMhyields a nominal constraint on the scattering amplification from the host galaxyF˜G=1.50.3+0.8(pc2km)1/3, whereF˜describes turbulent density fluctuations andGrepresents the geometric leverage to scattering that depends on the location of the scattering material. For a two-screen scattering geometry whereτarises from the host galaxy and Δνdfrom the Milky Way, the implied distance between the FRB source and dominant scattering material is ≲100 pc. The host galaxy scattering and DM contributions support a novel technique for estimating FRB redshifts using theτ–DM relation, and are consistent with previous findings that scattering of localized FRBs is largely dominated by plasma within host galaxies and the Milky Way.

     
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