Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Robert D. Preece

Committee Member

Matthew G. Baring

Committee Member

Valerie Connaughton

Committee Member

Massimilio Bonamente

Committee Member

Michael S. Briggs

Committee Member

Gary P. Zank


Gamma ray bursts., Spectral theory (mathematics)


Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic events in the Universe but the processes that generate their observed gamma-ray emission remain unknown. Much of what is known about these processes comes from fits of the empirical Band function to the photon spectra of GRBs. However, very little information about the emission mechanisms can be derived from these empirical fits because extrapolation of fitted Band parameters to physical photon models is often degenerate due to the similar shapes of these models. In this work, physical models of high-energy radiation mecha- nisms are numerically implemented into a data fitting framework in order to test these models on Gamma-ray Burst (GRB) data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The resulting fit parameters are used to explore the structure, mechanisms, and evolution of GRB jets to gain a better understanding of how these relatively unexplained events occur. Evaluations of plausible models are made from the inferred properties of the jets enabling a full physical view of the evolution of GRBs from the event horizon of the parent black hole to the very edge of the jet.



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