Investigating the Origin of Gamma-ray Emission in Non-blazar AGN with the Fermi Large Area Telescope
McConville, William Francis
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The Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) has detected a small sample of gamma-ray loud non-blazar Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), including the so-called misaligned AGN, whose radio jets are believed to be pointed off-axis with respect to the observer's line of sight, in contrast to the far more populous gamma-ray loud blazars, whose jets are pointed directly toward the line of sight of the observer. The origin of the gamma-ray emission in these misaligned sources has been widely attributed to the so-called "blazar zone" under the pretense of AGN unification, in which the misaligned Fanaroff-Riley type I and II objects are purported to make up the parent population of the BL Lac and FSRQ blazars, respectively. For a number of misaligned sources, the observations prove to be consistent under this scenario, in that the sources demonstrate short timescale gamma-ray variability, thus confining the emission region to a size scale consistent with the inner parsec-scale regions of the jet. Representing an even smaller percentage of non-blazar sources are those that exhibit no evidence of variable gamma-ray emission over timescales of > 3 years. Steady high energy (HE) emission over these timescales, if proven to be statistically significant, relaxes the constraint that would place the gamma-ray emission within a < 1 parsec region consistent with the size scale of the blazar zone. Three sources in particular that have demonstrated no evidence of variability in the LAT range are 4C+55.17, Fornax A, and M87. Each of these objects further demonstrates a unique set of multiwavelength properties that could potentially give rise to gamma-ray emission that is produced outside of the blazar zone. In this thesis, I conduct a detailed investigation into the origin of gamma-rays from each of these objects, and I discuss the multiwavelength properties that could give rise to a steady gamma-ray component consistent with non-blazar emission. Further improvements in LAT analysis techniques are also briefly discussed.