[7]: Temporal and Spectral Analysis of 1ES 2344+514 in Two Flaring States Observed by VERITAS

Connor Poggemann†★, Jodi Christiansen

Department of Physics, Frost Support, Speaker

We observe high energy particle jets emanating from blazars using the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS). VERITAS observed the bright blazar 1ES 2344+514 during two flaring periods, one from Dec. 17 to Dec. 18, 2015, and another from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3, 2021. This blazar, located more than 5 billion light years away, is classified as an extreme high-frequency-peaked BL Lacertae object (EHBL). The VERITAS near-nightly monitoring of 1ES 2344+514 during the 2015- 2016 and 2021-2022 seasons provides good coverage of the pre- and post-flare flux as well as the rise/fall time of the flares. We present the multiwavelength light curves of each flare as well as the very high-energy spectra in the two flare states and the two pre-flare states.

[8]: The Host Galaxies of Reverberation-Mapped Active Galactic Nuclei

Samantha Allen, Ellie Johnson, Sebastian Contreras, Vardha N. Bennert

Department of Physics, Speaker

Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) can be found in the center of almost every galaxy, and in some cases, can form Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs). AGNs are extremely bright, and they are distinguished from most galaxies by accretion onto the central SMBH, which forms an accretion disk that produces luminosity through friction. The mass of the SMBH can be determined through reverberation mapping (RM) of broad-line AGNs by resolving the gravitational sphere of influence of the BH "in time". In this study, we are studying a sample of AGNs that used RM to determine BH masses. We are analyzing their host galaxies, using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Eleven of the images have been recently acquired through HST, alongside eighteen images from the HST archive. The overall goal of this research is to extract morphological information from the host galaxy by fitting 2D analytical functions using a program called GALFIT. To understand how robust the fit is, there are two separate projects comparing methods of determining morphological information. The first project compares the best model derived by two separate programs, GALFIT and lenstronomy. The second project is using GALFIT to compare single-component fits to multiple-component fits.

[9]: Higgs Mechanism: How Particles Gain Mass

Maya White, Benjamin Shlaer

Department of Physics, Speaker

Throughout our universe, there exists many different types of fields, such as the electromagnetic or gravitational. One such field is the Higgs field. Without the Higgs field, particles, such as electrons, would not have mass. This mass-bestowing process, called the Higgs mechanism, occurred dynamically in the very early universe when the Higgs field condensed, breaking electroweak symmetry. Higgs-like fields are unique because their condensation can form extended topological defects such as cosmic strings. Obtaining an understanding of the Higgs mechanism is essential to understanding the particle and topological defect content of the universe.

[10]: The Discovery and Analysis of 1ES 1028+511

Phoebe Zyla, Jodi Christiansen

Department of Physics, Speaker

VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) is used for the detection of gamma ray photons (>100 GeV) arriving from outside the atmosphere, particularly from active galactic nuclei classified as blazars. In this study, the source 1ES 1028+511 was discovered and announced in January 2024. The source currently has a significance of 6.13 sigma and a spectral index of -3.6, indicating that is it a soft source. Alongside analysis of 1ES 1028+511, we looked at the cut parameters of VEGAS to ensure no sensitivity was lost in the system upgrade and found that the newest version V2.5.9 is equally sensitive.

[11]: Zooming In on Connection: Exploring Social Presence and its Impact on Zoom Fatigue in Online Learning Environments

Kendall Baeblar, Anuraj Dhillon

Department of Liberal Studies, Speaker

Lack of immediacy in online classes may add to the "ZOOm fatigue," a term recently introduced to explain the exhaustion experienced by individuals while being on ZOOM for extended hours. Recent research has focused on exploring the causes of ZOOM fatigue, yet not much is known about how it might impact student learning in online classrooms. The current study examines the impact of ZOOM fatigue on perceived learning of the material via an experiment that manipulates the interactive features of ZOOM. The data collected from 90 college students indicate that social copresence and self-copresence mediate the association between ZOOM fatigue and perceived learning. In other words, students who experience more ZOOM fatigue from their online class experienced less social and self-compresence and in turn, perceived learning less from the class. In addition, the self-reported engagement in the ZOOM class mediated the association between experimental conditions and perceived learning, such that those who were allowed to use more interactive ZOOM features during class reported being less engaged and hence, perceived learning less. The results of the study highlight key insights for ZOOM users (both faculty and students) as well as practical applications for tech companies.