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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3M902D74

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Understanding Parameter Degeneracies in Neutron Star X-ray Light Curves Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar
neutron star
genetic algorithm
thermonuclear burst oscillation
Type I X-ray burst
astronomy
Type 1 X-ray burst
x-ray
light curve fitting
astrophysics
thermonuclear X-ray burst
light curve modelling
general relativity
parameter degeneracy
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Stevens, Abigail L
Supervisor and department
Morsink, Sharon (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Heinke, Craig (Physics)
Davis, John (Physics)
Sivakoff, Gregory (Physics)
Department
Department of Physics
Specialization

Date accepted
2013-08-13T11:06:18Z
Graduation date
2013-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
The equation of state for cold ultra-dense matter has puzzled astrophysicists for decades. This is because the conditions of supra-nuclear density matter, such as those in neutron stars, are not terrestrially replicable. X-ray light curves from accreting neutron stars have proven to be useful tools in studying the neutron star equation of state. Theory predicts that the light curve from a thermonuclear X-ray burst on a rapidly-rotating neutron star can be used to determine the characteristics of the burst ignition spot and constrain the mass and radius of the neutron star. We discuss the development of spherical and oblate neutron star models that yield an X-ray light curve comparable to that which would be observed. Using this simulation code with a genetic algorithm, we disentangle the effects of various parameters on the light curve, showing which parameter degeneracies will have the greatest impact on the observables.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3M902D74
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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