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Title page for ETD etd-04092018-102518

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Conroy, Kyle E.
URN etd-04092018-102518
Title Astrophysics of Stellar Multiple Systems
Degree PhD
Department Physics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Keivan G Stassun Committee Chair
Andrej Prsa Committee Co-Chair
Andreas A Berlind Committee Member
David A Weintraub Committee Member
  • stellar multiple systems
  • eclipsing binaries
  • eclipse timing variations
Date of Defense 2018-03-26
Availability unrestricted
Eclipsing Binary stars (EBs) have long provided essential calibrations to stellar astrophysics and distance measurements. Recently, modern space-survey missions have allowed for determining the fundamental parameters of benchmark EBs to a few percent. However, we have reached the limits of both our models and the precision possible due to inherit degeneracies in the model. EBs with an additional stellar component are not rare, and an increasing number are being identified by these same space surveys. These triple and higher-order systems allow for breaking these degeneracies -- obtaining precisions within 0.1% -- and allow for testing binary formation theories through the dynamical interactions between these binaries and their companions. By detecting, categorizing, and robustly modeling stellar multiple systems, we can slowly build the statistical sample necessary for testing these theories while also providing a new level of precision to these benchmark cases. With that goal, I helped detect and characterize EBs within the Kepler data set, measure their Eclipse Timing Variations (ETVs) to identify candidate multiple systems, formulated the theory behind a newly discovered contribution to these ETVs, and extended the PHOEBE modeling code to handle
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