Browsing by Subject "Magisterprogrammet i elementarpartikelfysik och astrofysikaliska vetenskaper"

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  • Hietala, Hilppa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The aim of this thesis is to explore applications of machine learning to the study of asteroid spectra, and as such, its research question can be summarized as: How can asteroid spectra be analyzed using machine learning? The question is explored through evaluation of the obtained solutions to two tasks: the optimal locations of spectrophotometric filters for asteroid classification success and the formation of an asteroid taxonomy through unsupervised clustering. First, background theory for asteroids and particularly spectroscopy of asteroids is presented. Next, the theory of machine learning is briefly discussed, including a focus on the method utilized to solve the first task: neural networks. The first task is executed by developing an optimization algorithm that has access to a neural network that can determine the classification success rate of data samples that would be obtained using spectrophotometric filters at specific locations within the possible wavelength range. The second task, on the other hand, is evaluated through determining the optimal number of clusters for the given dataset and then developing taxonomies with the clustering algorithm k-means. The obtained results for the first task involving the optimal locations of filters for spectrophotometry seem reliable, and correlate relatively well with well-known mineralogical features on asteroid surfaces. The taxonomic systems developed by the unsupervised clustering also succeeded rather well, as many of the formed clusters seem to be meaningful and follow the trends in other asteroid taxonomies. Therefore, it seems that based on the two investigated tasks, machine learning can be applied well to asteroid spectroscopy. For future studies, larger datasets would be required for improving the overall reliability of the results.
  • Nincă, Ilona Ştefana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) has a high quantum efficiency and a bandgap of 1.44 eV. As a consequence, it is being used to efficiently detect gamma rays. The aim of this thesis is to explore the properties of the CdTe pixelated detector and the procedures conducted in order to fine-tune the electronic readout system. A fully functional CdTe detector would be useful in medical imaging techniques such as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). BNCT requires a detector with a good energy resolution, a good timing resolution and a good stopping power. Although the CdTe crystal is a promising material, its growing process is difficult due to the fact that different types of defects appear inside the crystal. The quality assurance process has to be thorough in order for suitable crystals to be found. An aluminum oxide layer (Al2O3) was passivated onto the surface of the crystal. The contacts for both sides were created using Titanium Tungsten (TiW) and gold (Au) sputtering deposition, followed by an electroless nickel growth. I tested the CdTe pixelated detector with different radioactive sources such as Am-241, Ba-133, Co-57, Cs-137 and X-ray quality series in order to study the sensitivity of the device and its capacity to detect gamma and X-rays.
  • Nurminen, Niilo Waltteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Phase transitions in the early Universe and in condensed matter physics are active fields of research. During these transitions, objects such as topological solitons and defects are produced by the breaking of symmetry. Studying such objects more thoroughly could shed light on some of the modern problems in cosmology such as baryogenesis and explain many aspects in materials research. One example of such topological solitons are the (1+1) dimensional kinks and their respective higher dimensional domain walls. The dynamics of kink collisions are complicated and very sensitive to initial conditions. Making accurate predictions within such a system has proven to be difficult, and research has been conducted since the 70s. Especially difficult is predicting the location of resonance windows and giving a proper theoretical explanation for such a structure. Deeper understanding of these objects is interesting in its own right but can also bring insight in predicting their possibly generated cosmological signatures. In this thesis we have summarized the common field theoretic tools and methods for the analytic treatment of kinks. Homotopy theory and its applications are also covered in the context of classifying topological solitons and defects. We present our numerical simulation scheme and results on kink-antikink and kink-impurity collisions in the $\phi^4$ model. Kink-antikink pair production from a wobbling kink is also studied, in which case we found that the separation velocity of the produced kink-antikink pair is directly correlated with the excitation amplitude of the wobbling kink. Direct annihilation of the produced pair was also observed. We modify the $\phi^4$ model by adding a small linear term $\delta \phi^3$, which modifies the kinks into accelerating bubble walls. The collision dynamics and pair production of these objects are explored with the same simulation methods. We observe multiple new effects in kink-antikink collisions, such as potentially perpetual bouncing and faster bion formation in comparison to the $\phi^4$ model. We also showed that the $\delta$ term defines the preferred vacuum by inevitably annihilating any kink-antikink pair. During pair production we noticed a momentum transfer between the produced bion and the original kink and that direct annihilation seems unlikely in such processes. For wobbling kink - impurity collisions we found an asymmetric spectral wall. Future research prospects and potential expansions for our analysis are also discussed.
  • Lehtinen, Simo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The solar corona constantly emits a flow of charged particles, called the solar wind, into interplanetary space. This flow is diverted around the Earth by the magnetic pressure of the Earth’s own geomagnetic field, shielding the Earth from the effect of this particle radiation. On occasion the Sun ejects a large amount of plasma outwards from the corona in an event called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Such events can drive discontinuities in the solar wind plasma, called interplanetary shocks. Shocks can affect the Earth’s magnetosphere, compressing it inwards and generating electromagnetic waves inside it. In this thesis we will cover a study of the ultra-low frequency (ULF) wave response in the magnetosphere to CME-driven shocks. Geomagnetic pulsations are ultra-low frequency plasma waves in the magnetosphere, observable from ground-based magnetometers. The compression of the magnetosphere by interplanetary shocks generates geomagnetic pulsations in the Pc4 and Pc5 frequency ranges (2 - 22 mHz). These waves play an important role in magnetospheric dynamics and the acceleration and depletion of high energy electrons in the radiation belts. We consider 39 interplanetary shock events driven by CMEs, and analyse ground-based magnetometer data from stations located near local noon at the time of the shock arrival. Solar wind measurements are used to categorise interplanetary shocks based on their Mach number and the dynamic pressure differential as main indicators of shock strength. The importance of these parameters in determining the strength of the wave response in the geomagnetic field is then studied using wavelet analysis and superposed epoch analysis. Stronger shocks are found to result in larger increases in wave activity, especially in the Pc4 range. Ground stations at higher latitudes observe higher wavepower, but there is an interesting anomaly in the Pc4 range at stations magnetically connected to regions near the plasmapause, which show an enhanced wavepower response. We quantify the decay time of the wave activity and find that it is around 20 hours for Pc5 waves and 7 hours for Pc4 waves.
  • Gonzalez Ateca, Marcos (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The distribution of matter in space is not homogeneous. Large structures such as galaxy groups, clusters or big empty spaces called voids can be observed at large scales in the Universe. The large scale structure of the Universe will depend on both the cosmological parameters and the dynamics of galaxy formation and evolution. One of the main observables that allow us to quantify this structure is the two-point correlation function, with which we can trace different galaxy properties such as luminosity, stellar mass and also, it enables us to track its evolution with redshift. In galaxy surveys, we do not obtain the location of galaxies in real space. We obtain our data in what it is called redshift space. This redshift space can be defined as a distortion of the real space generated by the redshift introduced by the peculiar velocities of galaxies and from the Hubble expansion of the Universe. Therefore, the distribution of galaxies in redshift space will look different from the one obtained in real space. These differences between both spaces are small but not negligible, and they depend strictly on the cosmology. In this work, we will assume a ΛCDM cosmology. Therefore, in order to find the different 1-dimensional or 2-dimensional correlations functions, we will use the most updated version of the code provided by the Euclid consortium, which belongs officially to the ESA Euclid mission. Moreover, we will also need different galaxy catalogues. These catalogues have already been simulated and they are called Minerva mocks, which are a set of 300 different cosmological mocks produced with N-body simulations. Finally, as there is a well-defined relation between real and redshift space, one could also assume that there is a relation between the two-point correlation functions in both real and redshift space. In this project, we will prove that the real-space one-dimensional two-point correlation function, which is the physically meaningful one, can be derived from the two-dimensional two-point correlation function in redshift space following a geometrical procedure independent of approximations. This method, in theory, should work for all distance scales.
  • Suni, Jonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Magnetosheath jets are a class of structures in the Earth's magnetosheath usually defined by an enhancement of the dynamic pressure of the plasma. Magnetosheath jets have been observed by several different spacecraft over the past few decades, but their origin and formation mechanism have remained unclear. The aim of this thesis is to use data from a global simulation to investigate the origin of magnetosheath jets. We defined two different kinds of structures, magnetosheath jets and foreshock compressive structures (FCS), and collected a database of individual jets and FCSs from 4 Vlasiator global hybrid-Vlasov simulation runs, all of which simulate only the ecliptic plane. We then conducted a statistical analysis of the properties of jets and FCSs, and their occurrence rates as a function of the definition of the FCS criterion. Jets were separated into two categories: jets that form in contact with FCSs (FCS-jets), and those that do not (non-FCS-jets). We found that up to 75% of magnetosheath jets form in association with an FCS impacting the Earth's bow shock. We also found that FCS-jets penetrate deeper into the magnetosheath than non-FCS-jets. Finally, we found no conclusive explanation for the formation of non-FCS-jets. The properties of both jets and FCSs agree qualitatively and to some extent quantitatively with spacecraft observations and other simulations in the literature. The formation of jets from FCSs impacting the bow shock is similar to the proposed theory that jets are linked to Short Large-Amplitude Magnetic Structures (SLAMS). In the future, we will study magnetosheath jets and FCSs in polar plane simulation runs as well, and ultimately in full 3D simulation runs. If made possible by new simulations, the effects of electron kinetic effects on jets and FCSs will also be studied. Comparison studies with spacecraft observations of jet formation from FCSs will also be conducted, if and when such observations are found and become available.
  • Annala, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    We study how higher-order gravity affects Higgs inflation in the Palatini formulation. We first review the metric and Palatini formulations in comparative manner and discuss their differences. Next cosmic inflation driven by a scalar field and inflationary observables are discussed. After this we review the Higgs inflation and compute the inflationary observables both in the metric and Palatini formulations. We then consider adding higher-order terms of the curvature to the action. We derive the equations of motion for the most general action quadratic in the curvature that does not violate parity in both the metric and Palatini formulations. Finally we present a new result. We analyse Higgs inflation in the Palatini formulation with higher-order curvature terms. We consider a simplified scenario where only terms constructed from the symmetric part of the Ricci tensor are added to the action. This implies that there are no new gravitational degrees of freedom, which makes the analysis easier. As a new result we found out that the scalar perturbation spectrum is unchanged, but the tensor perturbation spectrum is suppressed by the higher-order curvature couplings.
  • Pankkonen, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Standard Model is one of the accurate theories that we have. It has demonstrated its success by predictions and discoveries of new particles such as the existence of gauge bosons W and Z and heaviest quarks charm, bottom and top. After discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 Standard Model became complete in sense that all elementary particles contained in it had been observed. In this thesis I will cover the particle content and interactions of the Standard Model. Then I explain Higgs mechanism in detail. The main feature in Higgs mechanism is spontaneous symmetry breaking which is the key element for this mechanism to work. The Higgs mechanism gives rise to mass of the particles, especially gauge bosons. Higgs boson was found at the Large Hadron Collider by CMS and ATLAS experiments. In the experiments, protons were collided with high energies (8-13 TeV). This leads to production of the Higgs boson by different production channels like gluon fusion (ggF), vector boson fusion (VBF) or the Higgsstrahlung. Since the lifetime of the Higgs boson is very short, it cannot be measured directly. In the CMS experiment Higgs boson was detected via channel H → ZZ → 4l and via H → γγ. In this thesis I examine the correspondence of the Standard Model to LHC data by using signal strengths of the production and decay channels by parametrizing the interactions of fermionic and bosonic production and decay channels. Data analysis carried by least squares method gave confidence level contours that describe how well the predictions of the Standard Model correspond to LHC data
  • Berlea, Vlad Dumitru (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The nature of dark matter (DM) is one of the outstanding problems of modern physics. The existence of dark matter implies physics beyond the Standard Model (SM), as the SM doesn’t contain any viable DM candidates. Dark matter manifests itself through various cosmological and astrophysical observations of the rotational speeds of galaxies, structure formation, measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and gravitational lensing of galaxy clusters. An attractive explanation of the observed dark matter density is provided by the WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle) paradigm. In the following thesis I explore this idea within the well motivated Higgs portal framework. In particular, I explore three options for dark matter composition: a scalar field and U(1) and SU(2) hidden gauge Fields. I find that the WIMP paradigm is still consistent with the data. Even though it finds itself under pressure from direct detection experiments, it is not yet in crisis. Simple and well motivated WIMP models can fit the observed DM density without violating the collider and direct DM detection constraints.
  • Molander, Andreas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Standard Model (SM) is the best established theory describing the observed matter and its interactions through all the fundamental forces except gravity. The SM is however not complete. For example, it does not explain the large difference between the electroweak scale and the Planck scale, which is known as the hierarchy problem, nor does it explain dark matter. Therefore there is a need for more comprehensive theories beyond the SM. Supersymmetry (SUSY) extends the SM with predictions of a partner particle (sparticle) for each currently known elementary particle. A few of its benefits are that it gives an explanation to the hierarchy problem and predicts the existence of a good particle candidate for dark matter. However, there is no experimental evidence for SUSY so far. The search for SUSY particles is currently on-going at the experiments using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. So far, the searches have been focusing on strongly interacting supersymmetric particles, still without findings. One of the parameter ranges still to be covered, is the compressed mass scenario in the lower mass end for weakly interacting sparticles, where the masses of the lightest and second lightest supersymmetric particle do not differ much in mass. If they exist, low mass SUSY particles could be created in the LHC from two fusing photons emitted by forward-scattered protons. In such two-photon (central exclusive) processes, both protons might remain on-shell and continue their path down the beamline. Central exclusive processes are rather rare, so to advance the study of these events, new tagging techniques are required to record as many of these events as possible. We are interested in the kinematic range with a mass difference of less than 60 GeV between the slepton and the neutralino, which are the supersymmetric partners of the lepton and the neutral bosons. The CMS detector in the LHC has two event filtering (trigger) systems; the low level (L1) trigger and the high level trigger (HLT). A study has been conducted on how a specific HLT could increase the number of recorded events for the previously mentioned process, without significantly increasing the total HLT rate. To select more events, the transverse momentum threshold value of the produced leptons ought to be lowered. The forward-scattered protons will be detected by the Precision Proton Spectrometer (PPS). This thesis shows that requiring proton tracks in the PPS tracking detectors and tuning the multiplicity cut of these, will compensate for the lowering of the transverse momentum threshold, keeping the overall HLT rate sensible, while still enabling more interesting physics to be recorded.
  • Stendahl, Alex (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The Standard model of particle physics has been very successful in describing particles and their interactions. In 2012 the last missing piece, the Higgs boson, was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider. However even for all its success the Standard model fails to explain some phenomena of nature. Two of these unexplained phenomena are dark matter and the metastability of the electroweak vacuum. In this thesis we study one of the simplest extensions of the Standard model; the complex singlet scalar extension. In this framework the CP-even component of the singlet mixes with the Standard model like Higgs boson through the portal operator to form new mass eigenstates. The CP-odd component is a pseudo-Goldstone boson which could be a viable dark matter candidate. We analyse parameter space of the model with respect to constraints from particle physics experiments and cosmological observations. The time evolution of dark matter number density is derived to study the process of dark matter freeze-out. The relic density of the Dark Matter candidate is then calculated with the micrOmegas tool. These calculations are then compared to the measured values of dark matter relic density. Moreover, the electroweak vacuum can be stabilised due the contribution of the singlet scalar to the Standard Model Higgs potential. We derive the β-functions of the couplings in order to study the renormalisation group evolution of the parameters of the model. With the contribution of the portal coupling to the β-function of the Higgs coupling we are able to stabilise the electroweak vacuum up to the Planck scale. The two-loop β-functions are calculated using the SARAH tool.
  • Rantanen, Milla-Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Semiconductor radiation detectors are devices used to detect electromagnetic and particle radiation. The signal formation is based on the transportation of charges between the valence band and conduction band. The interaction between the detector material and the radiation generates free electrons and holes that move in opposite directions in the electric field applied between the electrodes. The movement of charges induces a current in the external electrical circuit, which can be used for particle identification, measurement of energy or momentum, timing, or tracking. There are several different detector materials and designs and, new options are continuously developed. Diamond is a detector material that has received a great amount of interest in many fields. This is due to its many unique properties. Many of them arise from the diamond crystal structure and the strength of the bond between the carbon atoms. The tight and rigid structure makes diamond a strong and durable material, which allows operation of diamond detectors in harsh radiation environments. This, combined with the fast signal formation and short response time makes diamond detector an excellent choice for high energy physics applications. The diamond structure leads also to a wide band gap. Thanks to the wide band bap, diamond detectors have low leakage current and they can be operated even in high temperatures without protection from surrounding light. Especially electrical properties of semiconductors strongly depend on the concentration of impurities and crystal defects. Determination of electrical properties can therefore be used to study the crystal quality of the material. The electrical properties of the material determine the safe operational region of the device and knowledge of the leakage current and the charge carrier transportation mechanism are required for optimized operation of detectors. Characterization of electrical properties is therefore an important part of semiconductor device fabrication. Electrical characterization should be done at different stages of the fabrication in order to detect problems at an early stage and to get an idea of what could have caused them. This work describes the quality assurance process of single crystal CVD (chemical vapour deposition) diamond detectors for the PPS-detectors for the CMS-experiment. The quality assurance process includes visual inspection of the diamond surfaces and dimensions by optical and cross polarized light microscopy, and electrical characterization by measurement of leakage current and CCE (charge collection efficiency). The CCE measurement setup was improved with a stage controller, which allows automatic measurement of CCE in several positions on the diamond detector. The operation of the new setup and the reproducibility of the results were studied by repeated measurements of a reference diamond. The setup could successfully be used to measure CCE over the whole diamond surface. However, the measurement uncertainty is quite large. Further work is needed to reduce the measurement uncertainty and to determine the correlation between observed defects and the measured electrical properties.
  • Benke, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are one of the most powerful sources of the luminous Universe. Radio-loud AGN exhibit prominent relativistic outflows known as jets, whose synchrotron radiation can be detected in the radio domain. The launching, evolution and variable nature of these sources is still not fully understood. We study 3C 84, because its proximity, brightness and the intermittent nature of its jet makes it a good target to investigate these open questions of the AGN phenomena. 3C 84 (optical counterpart: NGC 1275) is a Fanaroff-Riley type I radio galaxy, located in the Perseus cluster at z = 0.0176. Due to its close proximity, 3C 84 has been a favourable target for observations throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum, especially for ones in the radio domain. Its most recent activity started 2003, when a new component emerged from the core in the form of a restarted parsec-scale jet. This provided a rare opportunity to study the formation and evolution of a jet (see Nagai et al. 2010, 2014, 2017 and Suzuki et al. 2012). The highest resolution results were obtained by Giovannini et al. (2018), who imaged the source with the Global VLBI Network together with the Space Radio Telescope, RadioAstron. This enabled them to capture the limb-brightened structure of the restarted jet and measure its collimation profile from ~350 gravitational radii. In this work I present the 22 GHz RadioAstron observations carried out 3 years later, in a similar configuration, but with a significantly different sampling of the space baselines than the ones presented in Giovannini et al. (2018). The calibration was carried out in the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS), whereas imaging was done in Difmap (Shepherd 1997). The aim of this thesis work was to obtain a high-resolution image of the source, measure the collimation profile of the restarted jet, and compare the results with those of Giovannini et al. (2018) and verify the observed source structures and measured jet properties, if possible. Comparing the images of the two epochs (angular resolution of the 2016 observations is 0.217x0.072 mas at Pa=-49.6°), they both show a similar structure, with the radio core, a diffuse emission region (C2), and the hotspot (C3) at the end of the restarted jet. Edge-brightening is confirmed in the jet and the counter-jet. However, the jet has advanced ~1 mas, corresponding to the velocity of 0.55c. C3 has moved from the center of the feature to the jet head, indicating an interaction between the jet and the clumpy external medium (Kino et al. , 2018 and Nagai et al., 2017). The base of the jet has also changed between the observation, approximately by ~20°. In the light that in the 1990s the jet pointed towards C2, then swinged westwards when the jet emerged (Suzuki et al., 2012 and Giovannini et al., 2018), and on the 2016 image has moved towards its initial position. This suggest a precessing jet, observed and modeled by Dominik et al. (2021) and Britzen et al. (2019). Measuring the brightness temperature of the core and the hotspot shows a signifacant drop of 70% and 50% since the 2013 measurements, respectively, due to emission of jet material and the expansion of the jet. Jet width measurements between 1200 and 19000 gravitational radii reveal a less cylindrical collimation profile, with r ~ z0.31 – where z is the de-projected distance from the core and r is the width of the jet. The evolution of the restarted jet’s profile from quasi-cylindrical (Giovannini et al. 2018) to less cylindrical implies that the cocoon surrounding the jet (Savolainen, 2018) cannot confine the jet material as it moves further from the core. The measured collimation profile corresponds to a slowly decreasing density, and more steeply decreasing pressure gradient in the external medium. Since the closest jet width measurement is only at 1200 gravitational radii from the core (here the jet width is 750 gravitational radii), it cannot confirm the wide jet base measured by Giovannini et al. (2018) at 350 gravitational radii. Based on this result, we arrive at the same conclusion as Giovannini et al. (2018), that the jet is either launched from the accretion disk, or it is ergosphere-launched, but undergoes a quick lateral expansion below 1000 gravitational radii.
  • Suortti, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Core galaxies are bright elliptical galaxies that contain a shallow central surface brightness profile. They are expected to form in mergers of massive gas-poor elliptical galaxies that contain supermas- sive black holes (SMBHs) in their respective centres. During the merger process, these black holes form a coalescing binary, which causes the ejection of stars from the centre of the galaxy merger in complex three-body interactions, resulting in the creation of a low-luminosity core. I have studied whether core galaxies can form according to the formation model described above. I analysed the results of seven galaxy merger simulations done using KETJU, a simulation code specifically made for studying the dynamics of supermassive black holes in galaxies. KETJU is a regularised tree-code, combining both the GADGET-3 tree-code and an AR-CHAIN integrator. This allows for the simultaneous simulation of both general galactic dynamics and accurate particle motion near black holes, respectively. All seven simulations consisted of a merger of two identical galaxies. Six of the simulations had galaxies with equal mass central SMBHs, where the mass of the black holes changed from one simulation to another, and ranged from 8.5 × 10 8 M to 8.5 × 10 9 M . For the sake of comparison, the galaxies in the seventh simulation did not contain SMBHs. The other properties of the merged galaxies were determined in such a way, that the resulting merger remnants would be as similar as possible to the well studied core galaxy NGC 1600. Naturally, these properties were identical across all of the simulation runs. By calculating the surface brightness profiles of the merger remnants in the simulation results, I found out that only simulations that contained SMBHs produced remnants with cores. Furthermore, I identified a clear positive correlation between the size of the core and the mass of the coalescing binary SMBH. Both of these results corroborate the theory, that the cores are formed by interacting SMBH binaries. This interpretation of the results was further enforced by the fact that, according to their velocity anisotropy profiles, stellar orbits near the centre of the remnants were tangentially dominated, implying that stellar particles on more radial orbits had been ejected from the system. I also generated 2D maps of the stellar line-of-sight velocity distributions in the simulated merger remnants. These maps showed kinematic properties similar to observed core galaxies, such as "kinematically distinct cores". Finally, I compared both photometric and kinematic properties of the simulated merger remnant containing the largest SMBH binary to the observed properties of NGC 1600. I found that the simulation and the observations agree well with each other. Since the properties of the simulated merger remnants follow theoretical expectations and is in general good agreement with the obser- vations, I conclude that the formation of the cores in bright elliptical galaxies is likely caused by coalescing binary black holes in dry mergers of elliptical galaxies.
  • Suortti, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Core galaxies are bright elliptical galaxies that contain a shallow central surface brightness profile. They are expected to form in mergers of massive gas-poor elliptical galaxies that contain supermas- sive black holes (SMBHs) in their respective centres. During the merger process, these black holes form a coalescing binary, which causes the ejection of stars from the centre of the galaxy merger in complex three-body interactions, resulting in the creation of a low-luminosity core. I have studied whether core galaxies can form according to the formation model described above. I analysed the results of seven galaxy merger simulations done using KETJU, a simulation code specifically made for studying the dynamics of supermassive black holes in galaxies. KETJU is a regularised tree-code, combining both the GADGET-3 tree-code and an AR-CHAIN integrator. This allows for the simultaneous simulation of both general galactic dynamics and accurate particle motion near black holes, respectively. All seven simulations consisted of a merger of two identical galaxies. Six of the simulations had galaxies with equal mass central SMBHs, where the mass of the black holes changed from one simulation to another, and ranged from 8.5 × 10 8 M to 8.5 × 10 9 M . For the sake of comparison, the galaxies in the seventh simulation did not contain SMBHs. The other properties of the merged galaxies were determined in such a way, that the resulting merger remnants would be as similar as possible to the well studied core galaxy NGC 1600. Naturally, these properties were identical across all of the simulation runs. By calculating the surface brightness profiles of the merger remnants in the simulation results, I found out that only simulations that contained SMBHs produced remnants with cores. Furthermore, I identified a clear positive correlation between the size of the core and the mass of the coalescing binary SMBH. Both of these results corroborate the theory, that the cores are formed by interacting SMBH binaries. This interpretation of the results was further enforced by the fact that, according to their velocity anisotropy profiles, stellar orbits near the centre of the remnants were tangentially dominated, implying that stellar particles on more radial orbits had been ejected from the system. I also generated 2D maps of the stellar line-of-sight velocity distributions in the simulated merger remnants. These maps showed kinematic properties similar to observed core galaxies, such as "kinematically distinct cores". Finally, I compared both photometric and kinematic properties of the simulated merger remnant containing the largest SMBH binary to the observed properties of NGC 1600. I found that the simulation and the observations agree well with each other. Since the properties of the simulated merger remnants follow theoretical expectations and is in general good agreement with the obser- vations, I conclude that the formation of the cores in bright elliptical galaxies is likely caused by coalescing binary black holes in dry mergers of elliptical galaxies.
  • Tarvus, Vertti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The magnetic field of Earth interacts with the supersonic solar wind that emanates from the outer part of the Sun’s atmosphere. The interaction results in the formation of Earth’s magnetosphere with a bow shock and a foreshock upstream of it. Together, they form a complex system that hosts a large number of different phenomena, ranging from aurorae visible with the naked eye from Earth’s surface to magnetic waves and transient structures only observable by spacecraft with in-situ measurements. In addition to spacecraft measurements, numerical simulations performed with computers have become increasingly important in space research with the constantly growing amount of available computing power. The topic of this thesis, two types of transient structures found upstream of the bow shock in the foreshock, cavitons and spontaneous hot flow anomalies (SHFAs), are examples of phenomena that have been discovered and studied with the combination of numerical simulations and spacecraft observations. These transient types are related, as cavitons can evolve into SHFAs. In this thesis, cavitons and SHFAs are studied with the global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator. The transients are studied statistically in a global simulation for the first time, granting the largest statistical sample up to date. The approach taken in this study is to track individual transients in time, for which purpose a tracking algorithm was developed as a part of this thesis. With this method, the first detailed investigation of the evolution of cavitons and SHFAs is conducted. The statistical results obtained in this work indicate that cavitons and SHFAs form in a uniform region near the bow shock. There is a distinct distance to the shock within which cavitons can become SHFAs, and it is found that SHFAs can either form independently, or evolve from cavitons. The properties of the transients are found to have some dependence on the transients’ location relative to the bow shock. The propagation velocity of the transients is measured, and is found to agree with prior spacecraft observations.
  • Rawlings, Alexander (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis presents the results from seventeen collisionless merger simulations of massive early-type galaxies in an effort to understand the coalescence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the context of the Final Parsec Problem. A review of the properties of massive early-type galaxies and their SMBHs is presented alongside a discussion on SMBH binary coalescence to motivate the initial conditions used in the simulations. The effects of varying SMBH mass and stellar density profiles in the progenitor initial conditions on SMBH coalescence was investigated. Differing mass resolutions between the stellar particles and the SMBHs for each physical realisation were also tested. The simulations were performed on the supercomputers Puhti and Mahti at CSC, the Finnish IT Centre for Science. SMBH coalescence was found to only occur in mergers involving SMBH binaries of equal mass, with the most rapid coalescence observed in galaxies with a steep density profile. In particular, the eccentricity of the SMBH binary was observed to be crucial for coalescence: all simulations that coalesced displayed an orbital eccentricity in excess of e=0.7 for the majority of the time for which the binary was bound. Simulations of higher mass resolution were found to have an increased number of stellar particles able to positively interact with the SMBH binary to remove orbital energy and angular momentum, driving the binary to coalescence. The gravitational wave emission from an equal mass SMBH binary in the final stages before merging was calculated to be within the detection limits required for measurement by pulsar timing arrays. Mergers between galaxies of unequal mass SMBHs were unable to undergo coalescence irrespective of mass resolution or progenitor density profile, despite the binary in some of these simulations displaying a high orbital eccentricity. It was determined that the stellar particles interacting with the SMBH binary were unable to remove the required orbital energy and angular momentum to bring the SMBHs to within the separation required for efficient gravitational wave emission. A trend between increasing mass resolution and increasing number of stellar particles able to remove energy from the SMBH binary was observed across all the simulation suites. This observation is of paramount importance, as three-body interactions are essential in removing orbital energy and angular momentum from the SMBH binary, thus overcoming the Final Parsec Problem. As such, it is concluded that the Final Parsec Problem is a numerical artefact arising from insufficient mass resolution between the stellar particles and the SMBHs rather than a physical phenomenon.
  • Räsänen, Juska (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are large-scale eruptions of plasma entrained in a magnetic field. They occur in the solar corona, and from there they propagate into interplanetary space along with the solar wind. If a CME travels faster than the surrounding solar wind, a shock wave forms. Shocks driven by CMEs can act as powerful accelerators of charged particles. When charged particles like electrons are accelerated, they emit electromagnetic radiation, especially in the form of radio waves. Much of the radio emission from CMEs comes in the form of solar radio bursts. Traditionally solar radio bursts are classified into five types, called type I–V bursts, based on their characteristics and appearance in a dynamic spectrum. Of these five types of bursts, especially type II radio bursts are believed to be signatures of shock waves in the corona and interplanetary space. There are, however, also radio bursts associated with CMEs and shocks that do not fit the description of any of the five standard types of radio bursts. In this thesis three moving radio bursts associated with a CME that erupted on May 22, 2013 are identified and studied in detail. The characteristics of the bursts do not match those of the usual five types of solar radio bursts. The aim of the work is to ascertain the emission mechanism that causes the observed radio bursts, as well as locate the sites of electron acceleration that are the sources of the emission. The kinematics and the spectral features of the emission are studied in order to find answers to these questions. Analysis of the spectral features of the moving bursts showed that the bursts were emitted via plasma emission. Analysis of the kinematics revealed that the moving radio bursts originated unusually high up in the corona from the northern flank of the CME. The CME studied in this work was preceded by another one which erupted some hours earlier, and the disturbed coronal environment likely caused the radio emission to be emitted from an unusual height. It was found that the bursts likely originated from electrons accelerated at the shock driven by the CME.