Cosmic Physics Seminar: “Low Temperature Physics: Making Molecules on Stardust”

Posted on 3/19/2015 11:04:48 AM

Gianfranco Vidali, professor of physics at Syracuse University, will present “Cosmic Low Temperature Physics: Making Molecules on Stardust” on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in Weyandt Hall, room 331.


Over 180 different molecular species have been detected in the interstellar medium. Although many of the molecules form in the gas phase, there are some that are formed on surfaces of dust grains. Among these, molecular hydrogen and water are perhaps the most important because of their role in astrophysics (star formation) and astrochemistry/astrobiology. In the last decade, advances in observations via space telescopes and in laboratory techniques have led to great progress in characterizing the molecular universe. After an introduction about molecules and dust in the interstellar medium, Vidali will present examples of how laboratory work and theoretical simulations have enabled us to understand how molecules form on stardust and how they influence the chemical evolution of the cosmos. Furthermore, Vidali will show how specific knowledge acquired in the laboratory is guiding observations of actual processes in space.

Department of Physics