Degree Name

BS in Physics


Physics Department


Jodi Christiansen


A theoretical light curve model is fit to an observed short term flare of Markarian (Mrk) 421 in the very high energy spectrum. The flare is characterized by its measured light curve from the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging telescope Array System (VERITAS). The flare we analyzed occurred in May 2008. We successfully fit a theoretical model to the Mrk 421 data light curve. The data appears to agree with the Wagner [1] and Salvati [2] models. These models appear to fit both broad and sharp flaring regions found in the measured light curve. Furthermore the Wagner model is used to calculate the emission region sizes of the blazar, or the region of the blazar form which the observed gamma rays were emitted. The upper limit to the size of these emission regions is also calculated. The emission regions are found to be equivalent in size to planetary orbits in our solar system. This is relatively small for a region of a galactic sized object such as a blazar, indicating an unexpected conclusion to the agreeing theoretical models.