Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair

Duncan R Lorimer

Committee Co-Chair

Loren D Anderson

Committee Member

Maura A McLaughlin

Committee Member

Richard M Prestage

Committee Member

Aldo H Romero


The interstellar medium is the principal ingredient for star formation and hence, it is necessary to study the properties of the interstellar medium. Radio sources in our Galaxy and beyond can be used as a probe of the intervening medium. In this dissertation, I present an attempt to use radio transients like pulsars and fast radio bursts and their interactions with the environment around them to study interstellar medium. We show that radio emission from pulsars is absorbed by dense ionized gas in their surroundings, causing a turnover in their flux density spectrum that can be used to reveal information about the absorbing medium. We carried out a multi-wavelength observation campaign of PSR B0611+22. The pulsar shows peculiar emission variability that is broadband in nature. Moreover, we show that the flux density spectrum of B0611+22 is unusual which can be attributed to the environment it lies in. We also present predictions of fast radio burst detections from upcoming low frequency surveys. We show that future surveys with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) will be able to detect~1 radio burst per hour even if the radio burst undergoes significant absorption and scattering. Finally, we present our results of pulsar population synthesis to understand the pulsar population in the Galactic Centre (GC) and place conservative upper limits on the GC pulsar population. We obtain an upper limit of 52 CPs and 10,000 MSPs in the GC. The dense, ionized environment of the GC gives us the opportunity to predict the probability of detection by considering scattering and absorption as the principle sources of flux mitigation. Our results suggest that the optimal frequency range for a pulsar survey in the GC is 9--14~GHz. A larger sample of absorbed spectrum pulsars and fast radio bursts will be beneficial not only for the study of emission processes but also for discerning the properties of the material permeating through space.