- Discovery and characterisation of fast radio transients
- Award date
- 14 September 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Many types of astronomical objects are detectable through the radio waves that they produce. The observed properties of sources in the 'radio sky' can vary on a wide range of timescales, both for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. Transients are those sources whose observed properties change drastically within a timescale that a human astronomer can measure. Traditionally, the qualifier 'fast' refers to transients whose emission properties change significantly over less than a second, and most commonly on millisecond timescales. The two classes of fast radio transients studied in this thesis are pulsars and fast radio bursts. We are motivated to study these sources because they probe extreme astrophysical environments as well as the intervening magnetised and ionised medium between observer and source. Furthermore, the origin of the relatively recently discovered fast radio bursts remains enigmatic, though the properties of these signals share traits of pulsar emission. Thus, we aim to better understand the physical nature of fast radio bursts and their possible link to pulsar emission. We discuss the characteristics of these source classes and outline some of the outstanding scientific questions we can address through observations with a radio telescope and other complementary, multi-wavelength information.
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