Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Balša Terzić

Committee Member

Geoffrey A. Krafft

Committee Member

Jean Delayen

Committee Member

Alexander Godunov

Committee Member

John Adam


Quality X-ray sources are crucial to fundamental physics research, medical radiology, humanities research, and materials science. While synchrotron radiation (SR) facilities produce the state-of-the- art emissions with respect to brilliance and frequency tunability, the great expense required to build, maintain, and operate these structures greatly limits their accessibility to researchers. Much of the research conducted at SR facilities, however, may be conducted with inverse Compton sources (ICS). Accelerator-based Compton scattering light sources generate high-energy, high-brilliance emissions. Compton scattering is the process by which a photon scatters off an electron. ICS offer an affordable, in-lab alternative to SR facilities. Even though SR facilities produce greater intensity emissions, Compton sources provide the same frequency tunability at the intensities suitable for the purposes of many researchers currently fighting for time at SR facilities, i.e., ICS provides intensities suitable for contrast imaging, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray-diffraction, and X-ray spectroscopy. The focus of this work is to create computational models to simulate Compton-scattered spectra. These models have been used to build a theoretical basis for methods of improving the quality of future Compton sources and to preform diagnostic analysis of existing light sources. The theoretical basis of each model is derived from first principles. The numerical methods employed by each model are defined. A full description of the various functionalities of each code will be addressed. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of spectral bandwidth sources is discussed. The complex physics arising from an extremely high-intensity, nonlinear laser pulse is explored in detail. Methods of frequency modulation of the incident laser, i.e., a method for correcting the nonlinear broadening effects on the scattered spectrum, will also be discussed. The work will conclude with a an exploration of the ongoing research efforts regarding regimes of operation outside of the limits of these current models.


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