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Room 304, Chemistry Building

The Best Is Yet To Be: New Chemical Models of Stellar and Planetary Formation – Professor Eric Herbst


Professor Eric Herbst
Ohio State University

Hosted by: Professor Kevin Lehmann

Professor Herbst’s website

Abstract:  Astrochemistry is the study of molecules throughout the universe, including how they are formed and what they tell us about the physical conditions where they reside. The subject is most closely connected to the study of so‐called interstellar clouds, which are large objects consisting of gas and tiny dust particles. The denser clouds are overwhelmingly molecular in nature, and contain portions that are collapsing to form new generations of stars and planets. The field of astrochemistry is progressing at a frenetic pace thanks to a new generation of telescopes that are allowing astronomers to detect the spectra of molecules in space with much greater spatial resolution and intensity, as well as over a wider range of frequencies. These advances in astronomical detection of molecules require parallel advances in the field of chemical simulations, in which the observed concentrations of molecules in sundry sources in the interstellar medium are reproduced by kinetic models of the exotic gas‐phase and grain‐surface chemistry. In my talk, I will review the field of interstellar astrochemistry and then discuss new chemical models with an emphasis on sources that are related to stellar and planetary formation.