Award Date

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

Bing Zhang, Chair

Second Committee Member

Stephen Lepp

Third Committee Member

Kentaro Nagamine

Graduate Faculty Representative

Balakrishnan Naduvalath

Number of Pages

125

Abstract

Over the last fifty years the field of gamma-ray bursts has shown incredible growth, but the amassing of data has also left observers and theorists alike wondering about some of the basic questions surrounding these phenomena. Additionally, these events show remarkable individuality and extrema, ranging in redshift throughout the observable universe and over ten orders of magnitude in energy. This work focuses on analyzing groups of bursts that are different from the general trend and trying to understand whether these bursts are from different intrinsic populations and if so, what can be said about their progenitors. This is achieved through numerical Monte Carlo simulations and statistical inference in conjunction with current GRB observations. Chapter 1 gives a general introduction of gamma-ray burst theory and observations in a semi-historical context. Chapter 2 provides an introduction to the theory and practical issues surrounding the numerical simulations and statistics. Chapters 3-5 are each dedicated to a specific problem relating to a different type of GRB population: high-luminosity v. low-luminosity bursts, constraints from high-redshift bursts, and Type I v. Type II bursts. Chapter 6 follows with concluding remarks.

Keywords

Gamma-ray bursts; Gamma ray spectrometry

Disciplines

Astrophysics and Astronomy

Language

English


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