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A novel merged beam apparatus to study the cosmic origins of organic chemistry

Savin, Daniel Wolf; Miller, Kenneth; Urbain, X.; Garrido, M.; O'Connor, A. P.

Reactions of atomic carbon with molecular ions play a critical role for gas phase molecular formation in interstellar clouds. These interactions are the first links in the chain of chemical reactions leading to the synthesis of complex organic species. Much of our knowledge of this process is through spectroscopic observations and theoretical models. However, our understanding of this chemistry is constrained by uncertainties in the underlying reaction rate coefficients. Data from quantum calculations are limited to reactions involving three or fewer atoms. Meanwhile, previous experimental studies have been hampered by the difficulty in generating a sufficiently intense and well characterized neutral carbon beam. To address these issues and to study these reactions experimentally, we are building a novel laboratory device which does not suffer from such limitations

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Academic Units
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publisher
NASA
Published Here
April 5, 2013