Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Committee Member

Donna Weistrop

Number of Pages



The goal of this project is to test the shocked jet model for quasar variability at optical wavelengths. The ten quasars with the highest radio core luminosity at 5 GHz in the Palomar Bright Quasar Survey were selected for this monitoring program; Seven out of the ten radio-luminous quasars exhibited signs of short-term variability, and all ten radio-luminous quasars showed signs of long-term variability. We assume our QSO cores have high radio luminosities because they have a jet of relativistic material aligned close to our line-of-sight; we would then expect to see more variability than in a sample of radio-quiet QSOs if the shock in the jet is the cause of variability. There is evidence that our radio-loud QSOs are more likely to have short-term variations compared to samples of radio-quiet QSOs. This finding supports the model of QSO variability being caused by shock waves in the relativistic plasma jet.


Green; Luminous; Optical; Palomar; Quasars; Radio; Variability

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

1607.68 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


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