Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


First Advisor

Jennifer L. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mercedes Calbi

Third Advisor

Robert Stencel

Fourth Advisor

G. Williams


Interacting, Polarimetry, Supernovae


Explosive deaths of massive stars in core collapse supernovae are rare events that are only observed with any frequency at large intergalactic distances. This makes identification of progenitors difficult and massive star evolution a challenge to pin down. This dissertation addresses the question of how the properties of the circumstellar environment around supernovae can be used to identify progenitors via their mass loss history. Massive stars all lose mass through a variety of mechanisms that are characteristic of their mass, age, and binarity. This gives rise to a wide range of circumstellar environments which with supernovae may interact, producing multi-component emission lines with polarization profiles that are degenerately dependent on the properties of the medium and change over time. My dissertation approaches this problem computationally by modeling the polarized H-alpha emission lines for CSM with combinations of different morphologies and optical parameters.

My dissertation work fits these models against the polarized spectra of the Type IIn SNe 1997eg and 2010jl as a tool to diagnose their CSM properties and and constrain their mass loss histories. I find that both of these supernovae are preferentially fit by models with inclinations of close to 90 degrees and high shock luminosities. This suggests that an inclination effect may be a requirement in whether an interacting SNe presents observationally as a IIn.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Leah N. Huk


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

161 p.