Quantifying our Astrochemical Origins, Karin Oberg

Date: 

Monday, February 11, 2013 (All day)

See also: Seminar

Karin Oberg (Univ. of Virginia) will be visiting the CfA on Monday and
Tuesday, February 11-12. She will give the following seminar in Phillips
Auditorium on Monday at 10AM.

Title: Quantifying our Astrochemical Origins

Abstract:
Chemical Imaging and Precision Ice Experiments in the ALMA Era Molecules
are present throughout the Universe in a range of environments. The dense
regions associated with star and planet formation are characterized by a
particularly rich chemistry, due to ice formation on interstellar grains.
These icy grains are intimately linked to the origins of life, through
their effects on planet formation efficiencies, and as sources of water,
sugars and other `molecules of life'. I will present recently acquired
spectrally and spatially resolved ALMA and SMA observations of molecular
differentiation in protoplanetary disks and protostellar envelopes.
Interpreted in light of laboratory ice experiments and theory, these
chemical images provide unprecedented constraints on large-scale
structures, such as disk snow-line locations, and on the prebiotic
evolution during star and planet formation. Most aspects of ice chemistry
remains poorly constrained, however, and I will end with discussing a new
generation of precision ice experiments that will enable detailed
investigations into the microscopic processes that underpin all chemical
reactions in ice, and further, the development of quantitative molecular
probes of astrophysical phenomena that are currently inaccessible through
other means.