Workshop Details
The Molecular Underpinnings of Astrophysics
01/06/2020 - 01/10/2020
Meeting Description:

The Herschel Space Observatory has opened a new observational window reaching from the far infrared to sub-millimeter wavelengths with spatial and spectral resolutions previously unmatched. The spectra obtained by Herschel reveals the presence of a large number of structures, which have been assigned to hydrides. Behind this spectra lies a rich interstellar chemistry.

Hydrides are significant reservoirs of heavy elements and thus play a central role in molecular astrophysics. Since hydrogen is far more abundant than any other element in the ISM, molecular hydrides are also the first molecules to be formed. As a result, they are sensitive markers of the interstellar chemistry networks which play an important role in modelling the evolution of molecules in the universe.

Accurate modelling of hydride emission spectra requires data for the physical and chemical processes involving these molecules that occur in the interstellar medium. Toward this end the scientific community has undertaken major efforts in recent years, both experimental and theoretical. In this workshop, we will bring together scientists from the molecular astrophysics and physical chemistry communities. There have been many studies of chemical reactions and collisional energy transfer involving hydrides. Most of this work has not been motivated by astrophysics. Exposing the chemists to the issues raised by the astrophysical community will be one goal of the proposed workshop. A second, parallel goal, will be to increase astronomers' awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the methods developed by experimental and theoretical chemists. The informality of a Telluride workshop will facilitate this cross disciplinary interaction. Similar interactions have already proven to be invaluable in the combustion community.

An important outcome will be the discussion of what new studies need to be done on modelling chemical processes involving hydride molecules and the exploration of what molecular data are currently missing that are crucially needed for astrophysical modelling.


Instead of the traditional TSRC picnic, the organizers and TSRC have subsidized a group dinner at a nice restaurant in town.

The registration fee includes breakfast on each workshop day.

We wish to ensure an intimate workshop setting, with no more than 20 to 25 participants. If you are interested in attending, but have not received an invitation, please contact the workshop organizer before registering. If you have registered for a meeting you were not invited to, you may be subject to a $100 fee.

TSRC is about expanding the frontiers of science, exploring new ideas, and building collaborations. The workshop schedule will allow for substantial unstructured time for participants to talk and think. All participants are expected to stay for the entire duration of the workshop. Scientists are encouraged to consider bringing family or friends. Telluride offers a number of options for children's activities (including Ski School, AhHaa School for the Arts, and Pinhead Institute). There is more information on TSRC's website. Please email Cindy Fusting at with any planning issues and/or for help in coordinating care.

Meeting Venue:

Telluride Depot: Ah Haa School for the Arts
300 South Townsend St., Telluride, CO 81435

The Molecular Underpinnings of Astrophysics Registered Meeting Participants:
Participant Organization
Alexander, Millard University of Maryland
Dagdigian, Paul Johns Hopkins University
Dodson, Leah University of Maryland
Fortenberry, Ryan C. University of Mississippi
Herbst, Eric University of Virginia
Karska, Agata Nicolaus Copernicus University
Klos, Jacek University of Maryland
Kokoouline, Viatcheslav University of Central Florida
Lique, Francois LOMC, CNRS-Universite du Havre
Neufeld, David Johns Hopkins University
Stoecklin, Thierry UMR5255-CNRS
Szalewicz, Krzysztof University of Delaware
Vastel, Charlotte IRAP
Weichman, Marissa JILA / CU Boulder
Zhang, Jingsong University of California, Riverside

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