Astrochemistry: Spaced-out Molecules!

May 12, 2011
Lecture Theatre X1, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.

Speaker: Prof. Peter Sarre

In this lecture I am going to talk about amazing chemistry in space - chemistry that happens in clouds of gas and dust that lie between the stars.  These molecular clouds are trillions of miles from end to end and with enough material to create up to a million Suns.  Conditions are extreme - atoms and molecules are well spaced-out, cold, and hit by cosmic rays. How do we know molecules are there? What telescopes can be used? How can chemical reactions take place when it is so cold? How does interstellar chemistry link with the chemistry of planets?

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