Radio Properties of GRB Host Galaxies
Gamma Ray Bursts are massive explosions that, due to their luminosity, can probe to the highest redshifts known. The bursts themselves outshine their host galaxies by many orders of magnitude, and are therefore bright enough for spectroscopic confirmation and analysis even at very large distances.
However determining that a gamma ray burst has gone off in the early universe effectively provides information about the life and death of a single star. Making further inferences about activity in the region requires knowledge of the properties of the burst host galaxy - either by imaging it directly, or by comparison with other known GRB hosts. The optical and near-infrared properties of GRB hosts have been subject to intense study in recent years, but those only reveal part of the picture.
This project (which also involves Dr Levan) will involve the use of radio and millimetre data from new facilities to study the host galaxies of GRBs across a broad redshift range and constrain the character of these sources as revealed by dust and molecular gas.
For further information please email Elizabeth Stanway
(Image:) Comparing the star formation rates of GRB hosts derived from radio data with those from optical data. The two results are comparable (i.e. the ratio is close to 1) suggesting that there is relatively little dust-hidden star formation in GRB hosts in the local universe.
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