Detectability and Modelling of High-redshift GRBs

Open Access
Author:
Gou, Lijun
Graduate Program:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
September 20, 2007
Committee Members:
  • Peter Istvan Meszaros, Committee Chair
  • Derek Brindley Fox, Committee Member
  • Gordan Garmire, Committee Member
  • David Nelson Burrows, Committee Member
  • Richard Wallace Robinett, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Gamma-ray bursts; High-redshift; Cosmology
Abstract:
Gamma-ray bursts are the brightest, and probably the most energetic, explosions in the Universe. As both the burst and its subsequent afterglow are bright events shining from cosmological distance, GRBs are also a promising tool to trace the star formation history of the Universe and investigate its properties and structure, out to the highest redshifts. Before extending GRB research to these immense distances, however, one should ask whether these high-redshift burst, and their afterglows, can be detected by current and future instruments? Next, one should ask how will we know when such events are detected – can the redshift of the burst be determined by means other than the traditional method of optical spectroscopy? In this thesis, we have investigated these two questions with detailed numerical studies. In addition, we have carefully modeled the physical properties of the redshift z =6.29 GRB050904, which has the highest confirmed redshift for any GRB and so may serve as a prototype of high-redshift GRBs.