Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 163 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Steven Messner

Committee Members

Glenn Deane, Timothy Gage, Vince Idone


Space environment, Cosmic rays, Violent crimes, Urban violence

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences | Criminology | Medicine and Health Sciences


The study of criminology began with the investigation of the physical features of humans committing crimes such as homicide. The study of space weather includes the investigation of the physiological manifestations of various forms of space weather on terrestrial-bound humans. These two fields of inquiry are joined in this investigation of the association of space weather with the incidence of criminal violence in the United States. This study of the possibility that a physical force emanating from the Sun or from outer space can affect human behavior in the form of criminal violence is part of a long search for the physical determinants of crime. Using approximately five years of bi-weekly data, of three forms of space weather and their association with rates of homicide and aggravated assault in three large urban areas in the United States, longitudinal regression is applied with bivariate models at multiple lags to discern significant relationships.Using econometric time-series techniques, the following results were obtained: (1) cosmic ray activity was found to have a significant positive association with criminal violence; (2) sunspot number was found to not be associated with criminal violence, and (3) 10.7 cm solar flux was found not to be associated with criminal violence.