Gao, H (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Natl Astron Observ, Beijing 100012, Peoples R China.
It has been argued that the long gamma-ray burst (GRB) of GRB 060614 without an associated supernova (SN) has challenged the current classification and fuel model for long GRBs, and thus a tidal disruption model has been proposed to account for such an event. Since it is difficult to detect SNe for long GRBs at high redshift, the absence of an SN association cannot be regarded as the solid criterion for a new classification of long GRBs similar to GRB 060614, called GRB 060614-type bursts. Fortunately, we now know that there is an obvious periodic substructure observed in the prompt light curve of GRB 060614. We thus use such periodic substructure as a potential criterion to categorize some long GRBs into a new class of bursts, which might have been fueled by an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) gulping a star, rather than a massive star collapsing to form a black hole. Therefore, the second criterion to recognize for this new class of bursts is whether they fit the tidal disruption model. From a total of 328 Swift GRBs with accurately measured durations and without SN association, we find 25 GRBs satisfying the criteria for GRB 060614-type bursts: seven of them are with known redshifts and 18 with unknown redshifts. These new bursts are similar to 6% of the total Swift GRBs, which are clustered into two subclasses: Type I and Type II with considerably different viscous parameters of accretion disks formed by tidally disrupting their different progenitor stars. We suggest that the two different kinds of progenitors are solar-type stars and white dwarfs: the progenitors for four Type I bursts with viscous parameter of around 0.1 are solar-type stars, and the progenitors for 21 Type II bursts with viscous parameter of around 0.3 are white dwarfs. The potential applications of this new class of GRBs as cosmic standard candles are discussed briefly.