Published in January 1, 2004.
Copyright © 2004 by David S. Mitchell.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author David S. Mitchell was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Precise radial velocity measurements of stars can provide a powerful tool for both examining the intrinsic atmospheric activity of the star, and testing for the existence of substellar orbital companions. This method has been used to detect the vast majority of known extrasolar planets, as well as probing the asteroseismological characteristics of active stars. This dissertation presents the results of a precise radial velocity survey of 177 bright K giant stars. Six of the stars have data that indicate the presence of planetary or brown dwarf orbital companions. Many others have evidence of nonradial pulsations, and twenty binary stars are detected. The activity of several supergiants in the sample is analyzed, and the possibility of rotational modulation is examined. This survey represents the largest and most precise radial velocity data set of K giants ever created.