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The Molecular Physics of Interstellar PAHs
Description and aim
This workshop examines the fundamentals underlying the astronomical PAH model. It brings together astronomers and astrophysicists who observe and model PAH emission, molecular physicists who study the fundamental physical and chemical processes behind PAH excitation and emission, infrared spectroscopists and quantum chemists who determine PAH infrared characteristics in the laboratory or in-silico, experimental and theoretical astrochemists who measure the formation and destruction of large molecules in space to understand the origin and evolution of interstellar PAHs, and scientists studying the interrelationships of PAHs and carbon dust in the laboratory and in space. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together experts from the different fields that underlie the interstellar PAH model to examine the strengths and weaknesses in each area. The meeting is structured to compare and contrast existing models of individual PAH band assignments, PAH excitation and emission, and interstellar PAH origin and evolution, to identify weaknesses in these models, and plot a course to improve them.
The workshop aims to bridge the gap between the communities involved in the investigation of PAHs by bringing together the astronomers who are actively engaged in PAH research with leading experts in the related fields of molecular physics and chemistry. The intent is to assess the current state of the field, discuss the open questions about the fundamentals and identify areas that can be improved to prepare for upcoming missions such as SOFIA and JWST.
This workshop is intimately tied with both the NASA Astrochemistry Program and the Dutch Astrochemistry Network (DAN). An additional objective is, therefore, to promote interaction and joint research programs between these two networks as well as with the larger community.