Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Joanna Rankin


Astrophysics, Pulsars, Polarization, Neutron Stars


The phenomenon of profile mode switching in pulsars, where the stable average pulse profile changes to another stable state on the timescale of a pulsar’s period, is not well understood. Through my research, I sought to understand how pulsars undergo profile mode switching by an analysis of the polarization across different profile modes of PSR B0329+54. A hypothesized change in rotation vector model parameters between the modes would indicate changes in coherent emission process, a possible source of mode switching. We reject this hypothesis, and instead support a model of pair production in the surface plasma that would cause a change in the available electrons and therefore pulsar intensity. I couple this with the timing solutions for twelve Arecibo pulsars, and a polarization analysis of each in order to construct a comprehensive look at different aspects of pulsar polarimetry.