Causality and Communication: Relativistic astrophysical jets and the implementation of science communication training in astronomy classes

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607862
Title:
Causality and Communication: Relativistic astrophysical jets and the implementation of science communication training in astronomy classes
Authors:
Kohler, Susanna
Abstract:
Part I: Relativistic jets emitted from the centers of some galaxies (called active galaxies) exhibit many interesting behaviors that are not yet fully understood: acceleration and collimation over vast distances, for instance, and occasional flaring activity. In the first part of my thesis, I examine the possibility of collimation and acceleration of relativistic jets by the pressure of the ambient medium surrounding the jet base. I discuss the differences in predicted jet behavior due to including the effects of a magnetic field threading the jet interior, and I describe the conditions that create some observed jet shapes, such as the “hollow cone” structure seen in M87 and similar jets. I also discuss what happens when the pressure outside of the jet drops so slowly that the jet shocks repeatedly, generating entropy at its boundary. Finally, I examine the spectra of the 40 brightest gamma-ray flares from blazars (active galaxies with jets pointed toward us) recorded by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in its first four years of operation. I develop models to describe the observed behavior of these flares and discuss the physical implications of these models. Part II: The ability to clearly communicate scientific concepts to both peers and the lay public is an important component of being a scientist. Few training programs exist, however, for scien- tists to obtain these skills. In the second part of my thesis, I examine the impact of two different training efforts for very early-career scientists: first, a short science communication workshop for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduate students, and second, science com- munication training integrated into existing astrophysics classes for undergraduate STEM majors and early STEM graduate students. I evaluate whether the students’ written communication skills demonstrate measurable improvement after training, and track students’ attitudes toward science communication.
Affiliation:
University of Colorado
Issue Date:
2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607862
Submitted date:
2015-09-29
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Curriculum/Program Report or Description
Empirical Methodology:
Qualitative
Learning Environment:
Formal
Subjects:
College Students
Construct:
Affective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitude
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorKohler, Susannaen
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T08:56:34Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T08:56:34Zen
dc.date.issued2014en
dc.date.submitted2015-09-29en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/607862en
dc.description.abstractPart I: Relativistic jets emitted from the centers of some galaxies (called active galaxies) exhibit many interesting behaviors that are not yet fully understood: acceleration and collimation over vast distances, for instance, and occasional flaring activity. In the first part of my thesis, I examine the possibility of collimation and acceleration of relativistic jets by the pressure of the ambient medium surrounding the jet base. I discuss the differences in predicted jet behavior due to including the effects of a magnetic field threading the jet interior, and I describe the conditions that create some observed jet shapes, such as the “hollow cone” structure seen in M87 and similar jets. I also discuss what happens when the pressure outside of the jet drops so slowly that the jet shocks repeatedly, generating entropy at its boundary. Finally, I examine the spectra of the 40 brightest gamma-ray flares from blazars (active galaxies with jets pointed toward us) recorded by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in its first four years of operation. I develop models to describe the observed behavior of these flares and discuss the physical implications of these models. Part II: The ability to clearly communicate scientific concepts to both peers and the lay public is an important component of being a scientist. Few training programs exist, however, for scien- tists to obtain these skills. In the second part of my thesis, I examine the impact of two different training efforts for very early-career scientists: first, a short science communication workshop for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduate students, and second, science com- munication training integrated into existing astrophysics classes for undergraduate STEM majors and early STEM graduate students. I evaluate whether the students’ written communication skills demonstrate measurable improvement after training, and track students’ attitudes toward science communication.en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T08:56:34Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 c85ac06f-e0af-446f-8598-5afeeb519bb9.pdf: 1948284 bytes, checksum: f9d79d75d2e1d4f0f714ef047d11bef1 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleCausality and Communication: Relativistic astrophysical jets and the implementation of science communication training in astronomy classesen
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Coloradoen
dc.type.resourceCurriculum/Program Report or Descriptionen
dc.istar.learningenvironmentFormalen
dc.istar.constructAffective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitudeen
dc.istar.nationUSAen
dc.istar.empiricalmethodologyQualitativeen
dc.istar.subjectCollege Studentsen
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