Methodological problems with gamma-ray burst hardness/intensity correlations

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The hardness and intensity are easily measured quantities for all gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), and so, many past and current studies have sought correlations between them. This Letter presents many serious methodological problems with the practical definitions for both hardness and intensity. These difficulties are such that significant correlations can be easily introduced as artifacts of the reduction procedure. In particular, cosmological models of GRBs cannot be tested with hardness/intensity correlations with current instrumentation and the time evolution of the hardness in a given burst may be correlated with intensity for reasons that are unrelated to intrinsic change in the spectral shape.

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Astrophysical Journal

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