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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMeasurements of neutron-star properties provide a natural way to test models of cold dense matter and theories of gravity. In order to correctly interpret these measurements, accurate models taking into account the special and general relativistic effects arising from the strong gravity and fast spin of these sources are necessary. Moreover, for some observables the effects of the rapid spin can dominate the measurement. In this thesis, I develop a ray-tracing algorithm using the Hartle-Thorne metric that allows me to determine the effects of gravity on several observables. I use this algorithm to calculate the bias introduced when observations are interpreted under the common assumption that the source is slowly spinning or not spinning at all. I show that this assumption can lead to errors in mass and radius measurements that are larger than the accuracy needed to distinguish between different models for the equation of state.
Degree ProgramGraduate College