Simon Murphy's thesis has significant impact on the wide use of the revolutionary Kepler Mission data, leading to a new understanding in stellar astrophysics. It first provides a deep characterisation and comparison of the Kepler long cadence and short cadence data, with particular insight into the Kepler reduction pipeline. It then brings together modern reviews of rotation and peculiarities in A-type stars, and their relationship with the pulsating delta Scuti stars. This is the first combined review of these subjects since the classic monograph by Sydney Wolff, "The A stars," was published three decades ago. The thesis presents a novel technique, Super-Nyquist Asteroseismology, that has opened up the asteroseismic study of thousands of Kepler stars. It shows case studies of delta Scuti stars examining amplitude growth, super-Nyquist pulsation, and pulsation in a high-amplitude, population II SX Phoenicis star in a 343-d binary. This work informs our understanding of the relation of rotation to peculiarity, hence has applications to atomic diffusion theory. This is a brilliant thesis written in an elegant and engaging style.
Simon Murphy is Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Sydney Institute for Astronomy. His research interests are the plethora of phenomena found in A-type stars, especially chemical peculiarities and pulsation and the development of novel data analysis practices, such as Super-Nyquist Asteroseismology and Phase Modulation analysis. He is involved in organising the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC) working group on classical pulsators. Simon Murphy is the winner of a Runner up prize in "Experienced Presenter" category for oral presentation at UCLan's graduate research conference, 2012, the Winner of "Best Poster" category at UCLan's graduate research conference, 2011 and the Selina Bright scholarship for best exam results at the University of Manchester in 2010.
Foreword.- Preface.- Acknowledgements.- Prologue.- A Fourier view of Kepler data.- An observational review of rotation in A stars.- A selective review of spectral peculiarities in the A stars.- A pulsation review of delta Scuti and related stars.- Kepler catalogues and published case studies.- Conclusions and Future Work.- Index.