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|Title:||Radio Sources in the Local Universe|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Science. School of Physics.
|Abstract:||This thesis presents a census of radio sources selected from the NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) VLA (Very Large Array) Sky Survey (NVSS) and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey (SUMSS) catalogues which have also been observed in the first data release of the 6 degree Field Galaxy Survey (6dFGS), a galaxy redshift survey of the local universe. Radio detections were found for 4,506 galaxies in the 6dFGS near-infrared-selected primary sample, a radio detection rate of 16%. A further 1,196 radio sources were observed by 6dF which were missing from the 6dFGS primary sample either because their host galaxies were too blue in colour or they appeared stellar on optical plates. The full sample comprises the largest and most homogeneous set of spectra and redshifts of radio sources in the local universe ever obtained. Results from the study of these objects form an accurate benchmark from which their cosmic evolution may be understood. 6dF spectra of galaxies have been used to determine the physical cause of radio emission from each object as either star formation or an active galactic nucleus powered by a super-massive black hole. These two classes of radio source have been characterised via a determination of the local radio luminosity function at 1.4 GHz; plotting the variation in their space density with luminosity. The star-formation density of the universe at the present epoch has been determined, the value of which which turns out to be in excellent agreement with previously published values. Fractional luminosity functions have also been determined showing that more massive galaxies have higher star-formation rates and are more likely to host a radio-loud AGN. The large-scale structure of star-forming galaxies and radio-loud AGN in the local universe has been studied by determining their clustering properties via the two-point correlation function. Radio-loud AGN are found to cluster more strongly than star-forming galaxies confirming that these objects are biased tracers of the underlying matter distribution. Both star-forming galaxies and AGNs cluster similarly to the underlying host galaxy population in which they reside. This thesis also describes the 843 MHz SUMSS catalogue, made by fitting elliptical Gaussians to sources in images. The catalogue contains radio sources to a limiting peak brightness of 6 mJy/beam at declination less than -50 degrees and 10 mJy/beam at declination greater than -50 degrees. Image artefacts have been classified using a novel technique involving a decision tree, which correctly identifies and rejects spurious sources in over 96% of cases and has ensured the catalogue is more than 95% complete and 90% reliable over most of its flux density range.|
|Description:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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