Astrochemistry: From The Big Bang To Life

“Astrochemistry: From the Big Bang to Life”

our universe is full of molecules, from the simplest – molecular
hydrogen – all the way up to the complex molecular structures
essential to the chemistry of life on Earth. A large and diverse array
of chemical species has been detected not only on planets but in
interstellar clouds, in regions of star formation, in protoplanetary
disks, and in comets and meteorites within the solar system. But how
and when was all this material formed, and how does it evolve over
time? How much molecular content is inherited from one stage of star
and planet formation to the next? What role does the chemistry of the
universe through cosmic time play in the origins of life? A major
unanswered question remains whether the molecules essential to life
were produced on the early Earth (endogenous origin), or whether they
were produced in the parent interstellar medium or planet-forming disk
and delivered to Earth via asteroids, comets and their meteoritic
remains (exogenous origin).
 This lecture course will be devoted to astrochemistry and the
exploration of topics related to the chemical origins of life. In 18
lectures from the world-leading experts, we will discuss the history
of the early molecular universe starting from the Big Bang;
environmental conditions and key physico-chemical processes in space;
astronomical observations (from ground to space) of objects of
astrochemical interest; chemical models describing astrophysical
environments and their reaction networks; key laboratory techniques
and approaches for studying astrochemical processes; chemistry in
specific environments, such as the interstellar medium, protoplanetary
disks, and atmospheres of (exo)planets; exogenous synthesis and
delivery of biomolecule precursors; and, finally, evolution of these
precursors on the early Earth.
 GALS is aimed at providing a broad overview of scientific issues,
problems, achievements, and open questions in astrochemistry; and at
helping senior undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as
early career scientists to expand their interests and develop a firm
understanding of this area, sufficient to choose an appropriate
direction for their future career. The course is open to students and
scientists from all over the world.
 GALS is an annual event. The first round took place in summer
semester 2023 and was organized by Robin Garrod, Wolf Geppert, Martin
McCoustra, and Alexey Potapov. GALS in summer semester 2024 is
organized by Robin Garrod, Wolf Geppert, Serge Krasnokutski, Martin
McCoustra, and Alexey Potapov, is supported by the COST Action
”Nanospace” (CA21126), and is accredited by the Faculty of Sciences,
University of La Laguna (ULL, Spain). The course carries a credit
weighting of 3 ECTS.



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