The investigation of intrinsic spectral and temporal properties of gamma-ray bursts
Liang, Edison P.
Doctor of Philosophy
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have become a truly unique puzzle in Astronomy. Unlike quasars and pulsars which were explained within years of their discovery, the origins of GRBs remain a mystery more then thirty years after their discovery. Even the most basic information about these events, such as a concrete estimate of their distance, wasn't known until only a few years ago. The difficulty in our ability to obtain information about the nature of GRBs reflects their transient nature, which occur in random location in the sky with a rate of roughly one a day. Obtaining multi-wavelength observations of such brief events is a situation that astronomy has rarely been faced with. It has only been recently, with the advent of rapid arcminute x-ray localization, that we have started to decern information regarding the intrinsic properties of these events. In this thesis, I present a compilation of research describing our efforts to investigate the intrinsic properties of GRBs. The thesis is broken down into chapters including an introduction to the field of GRB astronomy, three chapters covering a range of spectral and temporal investigation, two of which have been published in the Astrophysics Journal with plans to submit the third and a conclusion outlining current and future work on the promises of using GRBs for cosmological research.