Astrochemistry and Molecular Astrophysics

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam

Oral exam and seminars


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Mathematics and physics courses held in any course of scientific master degree. Basic knowledge of chemistry and biology.


The course of Astrochemistry and Molecular Astrophysics focuses on several aspects relevant to molecular species in the interstellar space, with the aim of providing the students with the (experimental and theoretical) instruments to understand the systems and processes involved as well as to address the major challenges posed by a deeper understanding of chemical evolution in the universe.    

The program of the course reflects the highly interdisciplinary nature of research in this area: while making reference (astro)physics and (astro)biology, chemistry and chemical research tools are emphasized as the unifying theme. Among the topics of interest in the course one can mention: chemistry of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, spectroscopy and chemistry of star-formation regions and interstellar clouds. The introduction to some scientific challenges that puzzle the entire scientific community is an integral parts of the program. In this context, the issue of the origin of life deserves to be mentioned, which leads to focus on molecular systems (e.g. the so-called interstellar complex organic molecules, iCOMs) and processes of relevance for disclosing the endogenous and exogenous theories at its basis.




Educational aims

Ability to deal with spectroscopy, thermochemistry and kinetics problems with particular reference to the characteristic conditions of interstellar space, planetary atmospheres and surfaces of comets, asteroids or satellites.