Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

Bing Zhang

Second Committee Member

Stephen Lepp

Third Committee Member

Jason Steffen

Fourth Committee Member

Darrell Pepper

Number of Pages



The cosmological evolution of primordial black holes (PBHs) is presented via analysis of the accretion and evaporation histories of the holes. The ultimate end of any BH is evaporation — a spectacular seconds-long burst of high-energy radiation and particles. The critical initial mass of a PBH undergoing current era evaporation is ∼ 510 trillion grams. A near- critical mass PBH will not accrete radiation or matter in sufficient quantity to retard its inevitable evaporation, if the hole remains within an average volume of the universe. The gravitational waves (GWs) from five BH binary merger events discovered by the LIGO/Virgo collaborations were BHs of a few to tens of solar masses merging at redshift z ∼ 0.1. It is plausible these systems began as PBHs within overdense regions of the Universe. However, it is difficult for isolated PBHs to become supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at high redshift.

A new type of electromagnetic (EM) counterpart is presented. During the inspiral of a SMBH binary system, copious amounts of GW and EM energy are injected into the surrounding interstellar medium. The injected EM energy produces a relativistic blastwave, which emits synchrotron radiation in a transient multiwavelength afterglow. A simultaneous detection of the GWs and afterglow emission will contribute insights into blastwave dynamics, the BH masses and angular momenta, and the inner galactic environment.


Black holes; Blast waves; Cosmology; Electromagnetic counterparts; Primordial black holes; Synchrotron radiation


Astrophysics and Astronomy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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