School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Event items

Molecules in Space and Peeling the Icy Astronomical Onion

Chemistry Seminar Series - Prof Anthony Meijer, University of Sheffield, and Prof Martin McCoustra, Herriot-Watt University

Date/Time: Tuesday 16 0ctober, 14:00 - 15:00

Venue: Bedson Building, Room 2.76

Molecules in Space

Molecules are ubiquitous on Earth are and are essential to human life and civilization. However, perhaps surprisingly, molecules are also abundant in the Universe as a whole and turn out to be crucial on that large scale as well. In this talk I will discuss how molecules form in Space, how we detect them and how we can use theory to learn more about them.

Find out more about Prof Anthony Meijer

Peeling the Icy Astronomical Onion!

Synthesis observations from laboratory studies on the thermal and non-thermal physics and chemistry of dust grains as they evolve from diffuse to dense environments in the interstellar medium will be presented. I will specifically report on (1) thermal desorption and the impact of surface heterogeneity; (2) agglomeration of water (H2O) on an amorphous silica (aSiO2) surface; (3) highly efficient electron-promoted desorption of weakly bound adsorbates from H2O ice surfaces; (4) photo-desorption from H2O ice surfaces at ultraviolet wavelengths in the 200 to 300 nm range; and (5) efficient molecular hydrogen (H2) generation from ionisation of reduced carbon-containing species. The conclusion drawn from this synthesis is that the onion model of icy grain mantles needs revision.

Find out more about Prof Martin McCoustra