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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
  • 1 Text
Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


The Kilopixel Array Pathfinder Project (KAPPa) advances the number of coherent high-frequency terahertz (THz) receivers that could be packed into a single focal plane array on existing submm telescopes. The KAPPa receiver, at 655-695 GHz, is a high frequency heterodyne receiver that can achieve system temperatures of less than 200 K, the specification for ALMA band-9. The KAPPa receiver uses a novel design of a permanent magnet to suppress the noise generated by the DC Josephson effect. This is in stark contrast to the benchmark solution of an electromagnet that is both too expensive and too large for use in …

Contributors
Wheeler, Caleb Wheeler, Groppi, Christopher E, Butler, Nathaniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

The Universe transitioned from a state of neutral hydrogen (HI) shortly after recombination to its present day ionized state, but this transition, the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), has been poorly constrained by observational data. Estimates place the EoR between redshifts 6 < z <13 (330-770 Myr). The interaction of the 21 cm hyperfine ground state emission/absorption-line of HI with the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and the radiation from the first luminous sources in the universe can be used to extract cosmological information about the EoR. Theorists have created global redshifted 21 cm EoR models of this interaction that predict the …

Contributors
Mozdzen, Thomas J., Bowman, Judd D, Scowen, Paul A, et al.
Created Date
2017

One strategic objective of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to find life on distant worlds. Current and future missions either space telescopes or Earth-based observatories are frequently used to collect information through the detection of photons from exoplanet atmospheres. The primary challenge is to fully understand the nature of these exo-atmospheres. To this end, atmospheric modeling and sophisticated data analysis techniques are playing a key role in understanding the emission and transmission spectra of exoplanet atmospheres. Of critical importance to the interpretation of such data are the opacities (or absorption cross-sections) of key molecules and atoms. During …

Contributors
Gharib-Nezhad, Ehsan, Line, Michael R., Lyons, James R., et al.
Created Date
2019

For this project, the diffuse supernova neutrino background (DSNB) has been calculated based on the recent direct supernova rate measurements and neutrino spectrum from SN1987A. The estimated diffuse electron antineutrino flux is &sim; 0.10 &ndash; 0.59 /cm2/s at 99% confidence level, which is 5 times lower than the Super-Kamiokande 2012 upper limit of 3.0 /cm2/s, above energy threshold of 17.3 MeV. With a Megaton scale water detector, 40 events could be detected above the threshold per year. In addition, the detectability of neutrino bursts from direct black hole forming collapses (failed supernovae) at Megaton detectors is calculated. These neutrino bursts …

Contributors
Yang, Lili, Lunardini, Cecilia, Alarcon, Ricardo, et al.
Created Date
2013

Most stars form in groups, and these clusters are themselves nestled within larger associations and stellar complexes. It is not yet clear, however, whether stars cluster on preferred size scales within galaxies, or if stellar groupings have a continuous size distribution. I have developed two methods to select stellar groupings across a wide range of size-scales in order to assess trends in the size distribution and other basic properties of stellar groupings. The first method uses visual inspection of color-magnitude and color-color diagrams of clustered stars to assess whether the compact sources within the potential association are coeval, and thus …

Contributors
Kaleida, Catherine Carol, Scowen, Paul A., Windhorst, Rogier A., et al.
Created Date
2011

The lowest-mass stars, known as M-dwarfs, form target samples for upcoming exoplanet searches, and together with lower-mass substellar objects known as brown dwarfs, are among prime targets for detailed study with high-contrast adaptive optics (AO) imaging and sub-millimeter interferometry. In this thesis, I describe results from three studies investigating the companion properties and environments of low-mass systems: (1) The 245-star M-dwarfs in Multiples (MinMs) Survey, a volume-limited survey of field M-dwarf companions within 15 pc, (2) the Taurus Boundary of Stellar/Substellar (TBOSS) Survey, an ongoing study of disk properties for low-mass members within the Taurus star-forming region, and (3) spectroscopy …

Contributors
Ward-Duong, Kimberly Dolan, Patience, Jennifer, Young, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2017

Cosmology, carrying imprints from the entire history of the universe, has emerged as a precise observational science over the past 30 years. It can probe physics beyond the Standard Model at energy scales much higher than the weak scale. This thesis reports on some important probes of beyond standard model physics derived in a cosmological setting - (I) It is shown that primordial gravitational waves left over from inflation carry unique detectable CMB signatures for neutrino masses, axions and any other relativistic species that may have been present. (II) Higgs Inflation, the most popular and compelling inflation model with a …

Contributors
Sabharwal, Subir, Krauss, Lawrence M, Vachaspati, Tanmay, et al.
Created Date
2015

Gamma-ray burst observations provide a great opportunity for cosmography in high redshift. Some tight correlations between different physical properties of GRBs are discovered and used for cosmography. However, data selection, assumptions, systematic uncertainty and some other issues affect most of them. Most importantly, until the physical origin of a relation is understood, one should be cautious to employ the relation to utilize Gamma ray bursts for cosmography. In the first part of this dissertation, I use Liang-Zhang correlation to constrain ¦« Cold Dark Matter standard cosmology and a particular class of brane cosmology (brane-induced gravity model). With the most probable …

Contributors
Behkam, Razieh, Windhorst, Rogier, Rhoads, James, et al.
Created Date
2010

In the past three decades with the deployment of space-based from x-rays to infrared telescopes and operation of 8-10 m class ground based telescopes, a hand-full of regions of the sky have emerged that probe the distant universe over relatively wide fields with the aim of understanding the assembly of apparently faint galaxies. To explore this new frontier, observations were made with the Large Binocular Cameras (LBCs) on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) of a well-studied deep field, GOODS-North, which has been observed by a wide range of telescopes from the radio to x-ray. I present a study of the …

Contributors
Ashcraft, Teresa Ann, Windhorst, Rogier A, Borthakur, Sanchayeeta, et al.
Created Date
2018

Measurements of the response of superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) devices to changes in various forms of input power can be used for characterization of the devices and for probing device-level physics. Two niobium nitride (NbN) superconducting nanowires developed for use as SNSPD devices are embedded as the inductive (L) component in resonant inductor/capacitor (LC) circuits coupled to a microwave transmission line. The capacitors are low loss commercial chip capacitors which limit the internal quality factor of the resonators to approximately $Qi = 170$. The resonator quality factor, approximately $Qr = 23$, is dominated by the coupling to the …

Contributors
Schroeder, Edward Ralph Aaron, Mauskopf, Philip, Chamberlin, Ralph, et al.
Created Date
2018

In the upcoming decade, powerful new astronomical facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), and ground-based 30-meter telescopes will open up the epoch of reionization to direct astronomical observation. One of the primary tools used to understand the bulk astrophysical properties of the high-redshift universe are empirically-derived star-forming laws, which relate observed luminosity to fundamental astrophysical quantities such as star formation rate. The radio/infrared relation is one of the more mysterious of these relations: despite its somewhat uncertain astrophysical origins, this relation is extremely tight and linear, with 0.3 dex of scatter over …

Contributors
Monkiewicz, Jacqueline, Bowman, Judd, Scowen, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2019

The composition of planets and their volatile contents are intimately connected to the structure and evolution of their parent protoplanetary disks. The transport of momentum and volatiles is often parameterized by a turbulent viscosity parameter $\alpha$, which is usually assumed to be spatially and temporally uniform across the disk. I show that variable $\alpha$(r,z) (where $r$ is radius, and $z$ is height from the midplane) attributable to angular momentum transport due to MRI can yield disks with significantly different structure, as mass piles up in the 1-10 AU region resulting in steep slopes of p $>$ 2 here (where p …

Contributors
Kalyaan, Anusha, Desch, Steven J, Groppi, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2018

The first part of this dissertation presents the implementation of Bayesian statistics with galaxy surface luminosity (SL) prior probabilities to improve the ac- curacy of photometric redshifts. The addition of the SL prior probability helps break the degeneracy of spectro-photometric redshifts (SPZs) between low redshift 4000 A break galaxies and high redshift Lyman break galaxies which are mostly catas- trophic outliers. For a sample of 1138 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts in the GOODS North and South fields at z < 1.6, the application of the surface luminosity prior reduces the fraction of galaxies with redshift deviation sigma(z) > 0.2 from …

Contributors
Xia, Lifang, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

The work presented in this dissertation examines three different nonequilibrium particle physics processes that could play a role in answering the question “how was the particle content of today’s universe produced after the big bang?” Cosmic strings produced from spontaneous breaking of a hidden sector $U(1)_{\rm X}$ symmetry could couple to Standard Model fields through Higgs Portal or Kinetic Mixing operators and radiate particles that contribute to the diffuse gamma ray background. In this work we calculate the properties of these strings, including finding effective couplings between the strings and Standard Model fields. Explosive particle production after inflation, known as …

Contributors
Hyde, Jeffrey, Vachaspati, Tanmay, Easson, Damien, et al.
Created Date
2016

The formation of the firsts stars some 100-300 Myr after the Big Bang marked the end of the cosmic darks ages and created the elemental building blocks of not only rocky planets but eventually us. Understanding their formation, lifetimes, and contributions to the evolution of our universe is one of the current frontiers in astronomy and astrophysics. In this work I present an improved model for following the formation of Pop III stars, their effects on early galaxy evolution, and how we might search for them. I make use of a new subgrid model of turbulent mixing to accurately follow …

Contributors
Sarmento, Richard John, Scannapieco, Evan, Windhorst, Rogier, et al.
Created Date
2018

Using high-resolution three-dimensional adaptive mesh refinement simulations I study the interaction between primordial minihalo, a clump of baryonic and dark matter with a virial temperature below the atomic cooling limit, and a galaxy outflow. In Chapter 2 I concentrate on the formation of molecular coolants and their effect on the evolution of the minihalo gas. Molecular coolants are important since they allow gas to cool below 10000 K. Therefore, I implement a primordial chemistry and cooling network that tracks the evolution and cooling from these species. I show that the shock from the galaxy outflow produces an abundance of coolants …

Contributors
Gray, William James, Scannapieco, Evan, Starrfield, Sumner, et al.
Created Date
2012

I combine, compare, and contrast the results from two different numerical techniques (grid vs. particle methods) studying multi-scale processes in galaxy and structure formation. I produce a method for recreating identical initial conditions for one method from those of the other, and explore methodologies necessary for making these two methods as consistent as possible. With this, I first study the impact of streaming velocities of baryons with respect to dark matter, present at the epoch of reionization, on the ability for small halos to accrete gas at high redshift. With the inclusion of this stream velocity, I find the central …

Contributors
Richardson, Mark Lawrence, Scannapieco, Evan, Rhoads, James, et al.
Created Date
2014

Learning how properties of galaxies such as star formation, galaxy interactions, chemical composition, and others evolve to produce the modern universe has long been a goal of extragalactic astronomy. In recent years, grism spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided a means to study these properties with spectroscopy while avoiding the limitations of ground-based observation. In this dissertation, I present several studies wherein I used HST G102 grism spectroscopy from the Faint Infrared Grism Survey (FIGS) to investigate these fundamental properties of galaxies and how they interact and evolve. In the first study, I combined the grism spectra …

Contributors
Pharo, John, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Young, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2019

Green pea galaxies are a class of rare, compact starburst galaxies that have powerful optical emission line [OIII]$\lambda$5007. They are the best low-redshift analogs of high-redshift (z$>$2) Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs). They provide unique opportunities to study physical conditions in high-redshift LAEs in great detail. In this dissertation, a few physical properties of green peas are investigated. The first study in the dissertation presents star formation rate (SFR) surface density, thermal pressure in HII regions, and a correlation between them for 17 green peas and 19 Lyman break analogs, which are nearby analogs of high-redshift Lyman break galaxies. This correlation …

Contributors
Jiang, Tianxing, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James E, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation details the development of an open source, frequency domain multiplexed (FDM) readout for large-format arrays of superconducting lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors (LEKIDs). The system architecture is designed to meet the requirements of current and next generation balloon-borne and ground-based submillimeter (sub-mm), far-infrared (FIR) and millimeter-wave (mm-wave) astronomical cameras, whose science goals will soon drive the pixel counts of sub-mm detector arrays from the kilopixel to the megapixel regime. The in-flight performance of the readout system was verified during the summer, 2018 flight of ASI's OLIMPO balloon-borne telescope, from Svalbard, Norway. This was the first flight for both LEKID …

Contributors
Gordon, Samuel, Mauskopf, Philip, Groppi, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2019

High-energy explosive phenomena, Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) and Supernovae (SNe), provide unique laboratories to study extreme physics and potentially open up the new discovery window of Gravitational-wave astronomy. Uncovering the intrinsic variability of GRBs constrains the size of the GRB emission region, and ejecta velocity, in turn provides hints on the nature of GRBs and their progenitors. We develop a novel method which ties together wavelet and structure-function analyses to measure, for the first time, the actual minimum variability timescale, Delta t_min, of GRB light curves. Implementing our technique to the largest sample of GRBs collected by Swift and Fermi instruments …

Contributors
Golkhou, Vahid Zachary, Butler, Nathaniel R., Bowman, Judd, et al.
Created Date
2017

The Milky Way galaxy is a powerful dynamic system that is highly efficient at recycling material. Stars are born out of intergalactic gas and dust, fuse light elements into heavier elements in their cores, then upon stellar death spread material throughout the galaxy, either by diffusion of planetary nebula or by explosive events for high mass stars, and that gas must cool and condense to form stellar nurseries. Though the stellar lifecycle has been studied in detail, relatively little is known about the processes by which hot, diffuse gas ejected by dying stars cools and conglomerates in the interstellar medium …

Contributors
Davis, Kristina, Groppi, Christopher E, Bowman, Judd, et al.
Created Date
2018

Galaxy formation is a complex process with aspects that are still very uncertain or unknown. A mechanism that has been utilized in simulations to successfully resolve several of these outstanding issues is active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback. Recent work has shown that a promising method for directly measuring this energy is by looking at small increases in the energy of cosmic microwave background (CMB) photons as they pass through ionized gas, known as the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (tSZ) effect. In this work, I present stacked CMB measurements of a large number of elliptical galaxies never before measured using this method. I …

Contributors
Spacek, Alexander Edward, Scannapieco, Evan, Bowman, Judd, et al.
Created Date
2017

Lyman-alpha (Ly&alpha;) galaxies (LAEs) and Ly&alpha; blobs (LABs) are objects identified and studied due to their bright Ly&alpha; emission lines. This bright emission allows LAEs and LABs to be studied in the distant universe, providing a glimpse into the physical processes occuring in the early universe. This dissertation presents three complementary studies of LAEs and LABs at z ~ 3.1. The two main foci of this work are (1) to understand the gas kinematics in both classes of objects and (2) to improve spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting processes to better determine the physical characteristics of LAEs. Gas kinematics in …

Contributors
Mclinden, Emily, Rhoads, James, Malhotra, Sangeeta, et al.
Created Date
2012

A thorough exploration of star formation necessitates observation across the electromagnetic spectrum. In particular, observations in the submillimeter and ultra-violet allow one to observe very early stage star formation and to trace the evolution from molecular cloud collapse to stellar ignition. Submillimeter observations are essential for piercing the heart of heavily obscured stellar nurseries to observe star formation in its infancy. Ultra-violet observations allow one to observe stars just after they emerge from their surrounding environment, allowing higher energy radiation to escape. To make detailed observations of early stage star formation in both spectral regimes requires state-of-the-art detector technology and …

Contributors
Veach, Todd Justin, Scowen, Paul A, Groppi, Christopher E, et al.
Created Date
2012

Galaxies with strong Lyman-alpha (Lya) emission line (also called Lya galaxies or emitters) offer an unique probe of the epoch of reionization - one of the important phases when most of the neutral hydrogen in the universe was ionized. In addition, Lya galaxies at high redshifts are a powerful tool to study low-mass galaxy formation. Since current observations suggest that the reionization is complete by redshift z~ 6, it is therefore necessary to discover galaxies at z > 6, to use their luminosity function (LF) as a probe of reionization. I found five z = 7.7 candidate Lya galaxies with …

Contributors
Shet Tilvi, Vithal, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James, et al.
Created Date
2011

Quasars, the visible phenomena associated with the active accretion phase of super- massive black holes found in the centers of galaxies, represent one of the most energetic processes in the Universe. As matter falls into the central black hole, it is accelerated and collisionally heated, and the radiation emitted can outshine the combined light of all the stars in the host galaxy. Studies of quasar host galaxies at ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths are fundamentally limited by the precision with which the light from the central quasar accretion can be disentangled from the light of stars in the surrounding host galaxy. …

Contributors
Mechtley, Matt, Windhorst, Rogier A, Butler, Nathaniel, et al.
Created Date
2014

Understanding the temperature structure of protoplanetary disks (PPDs) is paramount to modeling disk evolution and future planet formation. PPDs around T Tauri stars have two primary heating sources, protostellar irradiation, which depends on the flaring of the disk, and accretional heating as viscous coupling between annuli dissipate energy. I have written a "1.5-D" radiative transfer code to calculate disk temperatures assuming hydrostatic and radiative equilibrium. The model solves for the temperature at all locations simultaneously using Rybicki's method, converges rapidly at high optical depth, and retains full frequency dependence. The likely cause of accretional heating in PPDs is the magnetorotational …

Contributors
Lesniak Iii, Michael V., Desch, Steven J., Scannapieco, Evan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Galaxies represent a fundamental catalyst in the ``lifecycle'' of matter in the Universe, and the study of galaxy assembly and evolution provides unique insight into the physical processes governing the transformation of matter from atoms to gas to stars. With the Hubble Space Telescope, the astrophysical community is able to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, at an unrivaled spatial resolution, over more than 90% of cosmic time. Here, I present results from two complementary studies of galaxy evolution in the local and intermediate redshift Universe which used new and archival HST images. First, I use archival broad-band HST …

Contributors
Rutkowski, Michael James, Windhorst, Rogier A., Bowman, Judd, et al.
Created Date
2013

Numerical simulations are very helpful in understanding the physics of the formation of structure and galaxies. However, it is sometimes difficult to interpret model data with respect to observations, partly due to the difficulties and background noise inherent to observation. The goal, here, is to attempt to bridge this gap between simulation and observation by rendering the model output in image format which is then processed by tools commonly used in observational astronomy. Images are synthesized in various filters by folding the output of cosmological simulations of gasdynamics with star-formation and dark matter with the Bruzual- Charlot stellar population synthesis …

Contributors
Morgan, Robert James, Windhorst, Rogier A, Scannapieco, Evan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Type Ia supernovae are important, but mysterious cosmological tools. Their standard brightnesses have enabled cosmologists to measure extreme distances and to discover dark energy. However, the nature of their progenitor mechanisms remains elusive, with many competing models offering only partial clues to their origins. Here, type Ia supernova delay times are explored using analytical models. Combined with a new observation technique, this model places new constraints on the characteristic time delay between the formation of stars and the first type Ia supernovae. This derived delay time (500 million years) implies low-mass companions for single degenerate progenitor scenarios. In the latter …

Contributors
Raskin, Cody, Scannapieco, Evan, Rhoads, James, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this thesis, we present the study of several physical properties of relativistic mat- ters under extreme conditions. We start by deriving the rate of the nonleptonic weak processes and the bulk viscosity in several spin-one color superconducting phases of quark matter. We also calculate the bulk viscosity in the nonlinear and anharmonic regime in the normal phase of strange quark matter. We point out several qualitative effects due to the anharmonicity, although quantitatively they appear to be relatively small. In the corresponding study, we take into account the interplay between the non- leptonic and semileptonic weak processes. The results …

Contributors
Wang, Xinyang, Shovkovy, Igor, Belitsky, Andrei, et al.
Created Date
2013

This thesis contains an overview, as well as the history of optical interferometers. A new approach to interferometric measurements of stars is proposed and explored. Modern updates to the classic techniques are described along with some theoretical derivations showing why the method of single photon counting shows significant promise relative to the currently used amplitude interferometry. Description of a modular intensity interferometer system using commercially available single-photon detectors is given. Calculations on the sensitivity and \emph{uv}-plane coverage using these modules mounted on existing telescopes on Kitt Peak, Arizona is presented. Determining fundamental stellar properties is essential for testing models of …

Contributors
Pilyavsky, Genady, Mauskopf, Philip, Groppi, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2018

The only elements that were made in significant quantity during the Big Bang were hydrogen and helium, and to a lesser extent lithium. Depending on the initial mass of a star, it may eject some or all of the unique, newly formed elements into the interstellar medium. The enriched gas later collapses into new stars, which are able to form heavier elements due to the presence of the new elements. When we observe the abundances in a stellar regions, we are able to glean the astrophysical phenomena that occurred prior to its formation. I compile spectroscopic abundance data from 49 …

Contributors
Hinkel, Natalie R., Timmes, Frank X, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2012

There are many lines of evidence for anisotropy at all scales in the explosions of core collapse supernovae, e.g. visual inspection of the images of resolved supernova remnants, polarization measurements, velocity profiles, "natal kicks" of neutron stars, or spectroscopic observations of different regions of remnants. Theoretical stability considerations and detailed numerical simulations have shown that Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instabilities arise in the star after the explosion, which leads to the early fragmentation of parts of the ejecta. The clumps thus created are of interest to a variety of topics, one of them being the formation environment of the solar system. There …

Contributors
Ellinger, Carola I., Young, Patrick A, Desch, Steven J, et al.
Created Date
2011

Part I – I analyze a database of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of collisions between planetary bodies and use the data to define semi-empirical models that reproduce remant masses. These models may be leveraged when detailed, time-dependent aspects of the collision are not paramount, but analytical intuition or a rapid solution is required, e.g. in ‘N-body simulations’. I find that the stratification of the planet is a non-negligible control on accretion efficiency. I also show that the absolute scale (total mass) of the collision may affect the accretion efficiency, with larger bodies more efficiently disrupting, as a function of …

Contributors
Gabriel, Travis Saint James, Asphaug, Erik I, Hardgrove, Craig, et al.
Created Date
2019

I present a catalog of 1,794 stellar evolution models for solar-type and low-mass stars, which is intended to help characterize real host-stars of interest during the ongoing search for potentially habitable exoplanets. The main grid is composed of 904 tracks, for 0.5-1.2 M_sol at scaled metallicity values of 0.1-1.5 Z_sol and specific elemental abundance ratio values of 0.44-2.28 O/Fe_sol, 0.58-1.72 C/Fe_sol, 0.54-1.84 Mg/Fe_sol, and 0.5-2.0 Ne/Fe_sol. The catalog includes a small grid of late stage evolutionary tracks (25 models), as well as a grid of M-dwarf stars for 0.1-0.45 M_sol (856 models). The time-dependent habitable zone evolution is calculated for …

Contributors
Truitt, Amanda Rosendall, Young, Patrick, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2017

Understanding the properties and formation histories of individual stars in galaxies remains one of the most important areas in astrophysics. The impact of the Hubble Space Telescope<\italic> (HST<\italic>) has been revolutionary, providing deep observations of nearby galaxies at high resolution and unprecedented sensitivity over a wavelength range from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared. In this study, I use deep HST<\italic> imaging observations of three nearby star-forming galaxies (M83, NGC 4214, and CGCG 269-049) based on the HST<\italic> observations, in order to provide to construct color-magnitude and color-color diagrams of their resolved stellar populations. First, I select 50 regions in the spiral arm …

Contributors
Kim, Hwihyun, Windhorst, Rogier A, Jansen, Rolf A, et al.
Created Date
2012

Several key, open questions in astrophysics can be tackled by searching for and mining large datasets for transient phenomena. The evolution of massive stars and compact objects can be studied over cosmic time by identifying supernovae (SNe) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) in other galaxies and determining their redshifts. Modeling GRBs and their afterglows to probe the jets of GRBs can shed light on the emission mechanism, rate, and energetics of these events. In Chapter 1, I discuss the current state of astronomical transient study, including sources of interest, instrumentation, and data reduction techniques, with a focus on work in the …

Contributors
Strausbaugh, Robert, Butler, Nathaniel, Jansen, Rolf, et al.
Created Date
2019

This work examines star formation in the debris associated with collisions of dwarf and spiral galaxies. While the spectacular displays of major mergers are famous (e.g., NGC 4038/9, ``The Antennae''), equal mass galaxy mergers are relatively rare compared to minor mergers (mass ratio <0.3) Minor mergers are less energetic than major mergers, but more common in the observable universe and, thus, likely played a pivotal role in the formation of most large galaxies. Centers of mergers host vigorous star formation from high gas density and turbulence and are surveyed over cosmological distances. However, the tidal debris resulting from these mergers …

Contributors
Knierman, Karen, Scowen, Paul, Groppi, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2013

One of the most fundamental questions in astronomy is how the Universe evolved to become the highly structured system of stars and galaxies that we see today. The answer to this question can be largely uncovered in a relatively unexplored period in the history of the Universe known as the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), where radiation from the first generation of stars and galaxies ionized the neutral hydrogen gas in the intergalactic medium. The reionization process created "bubbles" of ionized regions around radiating sources that perturbed the matter density distribution and influenced the subsequent formation of stars and galaxies. Exactly …

Contributors
Kittiwisit, Piyanat, Bowman, Judd D., Groppi, Christopher E., et al.
Created Date
2019

Solar system orbital dynamics can offer unique challenges. Impacts of interplanetary dust particles can significantly alter the surfaces of icy satellites and minor planets. Impact heating from these particles can anneal away radiation damage to the crystalline structure of surface water ice. This effect is enhanced by gravitational focusing for giant planet satellites. In addition, impacts of interplanetary dust particles on the small satellites of the Pluto system can eject into the system significant amounts of secondary intra-satellite dust. This dust is primarily swept up by Pluto and Charon, and could explain the observed albedo features on Pluto's surface. In …

Contributors
Porter, Simon Bernard, Desch, Steven, Zolotov, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2013

As the detection of planets become commonplace around our neighboring stars, scientists can now begin exploring their possible properties and habitability. Using statistical analysis I determine a true range of elemental compositions amongst local stars and how this variation could affect possible planetary systems. Through calculating and analyzing the variation in elemental abundances of nearby stars, the actual range in stellar abundances can be determined using statistical methods. This research emphasizes the diversity of stellar elemental abundances and how that could affect the environment from which planets form. An intrinsic variation has been found to exist for almost all of …

Contributors
Pagano, Michael Doran, Young, Patrick, Shim, Sang-Heon, et al.
Created Date
2014

3D models of white dwarf collisions are used to assess the likelihood of double-degenerate mergers as progenitors for Type Ia supernovae (henceforth SNIa) and to identify observational signatures of double-degenerate collisions. Observations of individual SNIa, SNIa rates in different galaxy types, and double white dwarf binary systems suggest that mergers or collisions between two white dwarfs play a role in the overall SNIa population. Given the possibility of two progenitor systems (single-degenerate and double-degenerate), the sample of SNIa used in cosmological calcula- tions needs to be carefully examined. To improve calculations of cosmological parameters, the development of calibrated diagnostics for …

Contributors
Hawley, Wendy, Timmes, Frank, Young, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2012