LERMA UMR8112

Laboratoire d’Études du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique et Atmosphères



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Molecules in the Universe


Molecules, ubiquitous in our atmosphere and in space, are providing powerful tools for probing the physics and chemistry of many different environments. They provide important clues for major scientific objectives such as climatology and planetology, star and planet formation and the question of the origin of life.


The analysis of molecular radiation under various extreme conditions requires nowadays, a high level of knowledge in molecular science which has to support a wealth of observational data arising from new generation of telescopes, satellites and probes. In addition, molecular processes are at the cornerstone in the evolution of matter in space.

The thematic pole “Molecules in the Universe” aims at pushing forward the current theoretical and experimental limits in molecular science in order :
(1) to obtain fundamental molecular parameters with high degree of accuracy that are essential for probing and modelling complex media and
(2) to understand and predict - at atomic and molecular levels - an increasing number of unknown molecular processes.

This pole brings together research groups leader in quantum physics/chemistry, low temperature physics, chemical physics as well as surface science researchers. It includes complementary theoretical and experimental teams based at Paris (Jussieu Campus), Meudon and Cergy-Pontoise.

The pole aims at playing a major role at the interface between molecular and astrophysics & atmospheric sciences while being fully invested in fundamental molecular and chemical physics science.

This reserach group has long standing experience in multi-disciplinary approaches and is a major actor of “Laboratory Astrophysics” (http://www.labastro.eu/), a new European Networks engaged in fundamental experimental, interpretative and computational research and modelling.
The pole contributes to the establishment and management of widely-used atomic and molecular databases and data centres (http://www.vamdc.eu/).

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Séminaires à venir

Vendredi 16 novembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Quantum walks and astrophysical plasmas
Fabrice DEBBASCH
UPMC, LERMA, Paris
résumé :
Quantum walks (QWs) have been first considered by Feynman in the 1940's and later introduced systematically in the 1990's in the context of quantum information. These discrete automata are a universal quantum computation tool and their first experimental realisation is less than 10 years old (2009).

I will present some of the research conducted at the LERMA since 2012. I will explain that QWs can be viewed as models of Dirac fermions (electrons etc.) interacting with gauge fields like EM fields and gravitation and that QWs can be used to build self-consistent many body theories. These results pave the way towards new numerical simulations and laboratory experiments modelling astrophysical and cosmological relativistic quantum plasmas through QWs.
 
Vendredi 30 novembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Multiscale star-formation in the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud: from molecular clouds to brown-dwarfs formation
Bilal LADJELATE
IRAM
résumé :
From molecular clouds to stars, every step of the evolution of young stars can be observed in the submillimetric range. The Herschel Space Telescope observed, as part of the Herschel Gould Belt Survey, many molecular clouds. When these molecular clouds are fragmenting, dense prestellar cores accumulating dust and gas are forming and contracting. We performed a census of prestellar dense cores in the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, which appear to be coupled with filamentary structures, as part of the paradigm of star-formation inside interstellar filaments. The region was not previously known as filamentary, despite the observation of protostellar alignments. This molecular cloud is under the heavy feedback of active stars nearby seen in the structure of the molecular cloud. Oph B-11, detected with interferometric observations, is a brown dwarf precursor, which final mass will not be important enough for the final star to burn hydrogen. Their formation mechanism is not well constrained, we must find and characterize a first candidate pre-brown dwarf. Oph B-11 was detected along a nearby shock, we characterize chemically. Moreover, higher resolution studies with ALMA show a structured molecular environment and help us constrain the mechanism of formation of this kind of objects. These observations show a series of shocks in different tracers, spatially coincident with the detected position of the pre-brown dwarf, in favour of the gravo- turbulent scenario for the formation of brown dwarfs. I will discuss the legacy of Herschel in the Ophiuchus region in the filament paradigm of star-formation, and the future of these studies with the advent of new instruments, like NIKA2 and its polarimetry facility.
 
Vendredi 21 décembre 2018, 14h00
Salle de l'atelier, Paris
Astrochemistry in star forming regions : new modeling approaches
Emeric BRON
IRAM/LERMA
résumé :
Star-forming regions present rich infrared and millimeter spectra emitted by the gas exposed to the feedback of young stars. This emission is increasingly used to study the star formation cycle in other galaxies, but results from a complex interplay of physical and chemical processes : chemistry in the gas and on grain surfaces, (de)excitation processes of the atoms and molecules, heating and cooling balance,... Its understanding thus requires detailed astrochemical models that include the couplings between these processes. In this talk, I will present several examples where new modeling approaches of specific processes and their couplings proved crucial to solve persistent observational riddles : from the driving role of UV irradiation in the dynamics of photodissociation regions (PDR) to the efficient reformation of molecular hydrogen in these regions.
 
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