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Theses Doctoral

Understanding the Nature of Stellar Chemical Abundance Distributions in Nearby Stellar Systems

Lee, Duane Morris

Since stars retain signatures of their galactic origins in their chemical compositions, we can exploit the chemical abundance distributions that we observe in stellar systems to put constraints on the nature of their progenitors. In this thesis, I present results from three projects aimed at understanding how high resolution spectroscopic observations of nearby stellar systems might be interpreted. The first project presents one possible explanation for the origin of peculiar abundance distributions observed in ultra-faint dwarf satellites of the Milky Way. The second project explores to what extent the distribution of chemical elements in the stellar halo can be used to trace Galactic accretion history from the birth of the Galaxy to the present day. Finally, a third project focuses on developing an input optimization algorithm for the second project to produce better estimates of halo accretion histories. In conclusion, I propose some other new ways to use statistical models and techniques along with chemical abundance distribution data to uncover galactic histories.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Johnston, Kathryn V.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 25, 2014