Last Update : 15/06/2010
Research Training Network - FP6
WELCOME TO OUR NETWORK
The Molecular Universe is a highly interdisciplinary network of European
researchers in 21 institutes in 9 countries studying the physics and
chemistry of molecules in space. The network combines experts in the areas
of laboratory spectroscopy. laboratory astrochemistry, molecular quantum
mechanical studies, and astronomical modelling of species of astrophysical
This consortium has been selected under the
European Community's Sixth Framework Program as a Marie Curie Research Training
Network.The network contract
was concluded between the European Commission and the consortium on 1st
September 2004 with duration of 48 months.
Molecules are an important component of the universe which dominate the
cooling and degree of ionization of interstellar gas clouds and, hence,
regulate star and planet formation. The exploration of paths towards
chemical complexity in space has direct bearing on the origin and
evolution of life. Moreover, molecular transitions provide a sensitive
probe of the dynamics and the physical and chemical conditions in a wide
range of objects at scales ranging from newly forming planetary systems to
galactic and extragalactic sizes.
Near-future large scale observatories by
the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory - in
partnership with American and Far-East organizations - will open up the
universe to high spatial and spectral resolution studies of molecules and,
hence, the study of the key astrophysicai and astrochemical processes
involved in the formation and evolution of planets, stars, and galaxies.
These new missions will lead to a multitude of molecular line data in a
variety of astrophysical environments. Identification, analysis and
interpretation of this data in terms of the physical and chemical
characteristics of the astronomical sources and the origin and evolution of
the molecular universe will require a concerted effort by physicists,
chemists and astronomers in the areas of molecular spectroscopy,
collisional excitation processes, chemical reactions, and astronomical
modelling on species of astrophysical relevance.
The specific objectives of this network are:
- Molecular complexity in space
- Chemistry in regions of star formation
The results of this expert
effort will be made easily accessible to the scientific community through
web-based data archives.