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Research Outline

MRes Astrophysical Chemistry

My intention is to research the cool circumstellar environments of stars and probe their chemical makeup. The research will primarily involve pre-main sequence (Herbig Ae/Be) stars and an exploration of the morphology, evolution and composition of their accretion disks/haloes. Of particular interest are young stars such as Elias 1, which bear signatures of unusual carbon compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nanodiamond dust grains. Their formation mechanisms are not yet fully understood.

With the ongoing recent discoveries of ever increasing numbers of extrasolar planets, it is becoming clear that our understanding of the principles of planetary formation and evolution of stellar systems is incomplete at best. Therefore, using a combination of spectroscopic and astronomical imaging techniques, I intend to work towards the characterisation of these environments, draw inferences and postulate any implications on the unresolved phenomenon of planetary formation.

 

 

Personal Statement

My interest in astronomical sciences is an ongoing one, with my earliest interests lying in stellar and planetary astronomy. This interest has been further compounded during my undergraduate studies into exotic chemistry (such as that of the interstellar medium) and the organic chemistry of aromatic compounds such as those detected commonly in many circumstellar and interstellar environments. Further to this, my most recent interests through my own personal studies are in cosmology and astrobiology.

During my time working in the graphic design industry I have become proficient in visualisation and image enhancement techniques, which I believe will be of great help in astronomical imaging applications. Aside to this, it has also made me an excellent communicator, able to visualise ideas and present information in a way which both emphasises key points and is conductive to the comprehension of the target audience.

I am applying to study at postgraduate level primarily to learn more about the subjects that interest me. I believe that through a combination of my acquired skills and knowledge and that which I am capable of learning, I can make a significant contribution to the field of astrochemistry. Finally, I enjoy research and I would like to pursue a scientific career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grad School Links

 

Funding

 

Reading List

 

Astronomy

 

Stellar

 

Galactic

 

Theoretical

 

Astrobio

 

 

Physics & Mechanics

 

 

Reference/Further Reading

 

DIBs

 

 

Unsorted

 

 

 

 

Diffuse Interstellar Absorption Bands

 

New Scientist

 

Unsorted References

 

Salama, F. (1996). Low Temperature Molecular Spectroscopy: From Ground to Space. In Low Temperature Molecular Spectroscopy, R. Fausto, ed., NATO/ASI Series, Series C: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Vol. 483, (Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht), pp. 169-191.

Salama, F., Bakes, E., Allamandola, L. J., & Tielens, A. G. G. M. (1996). Assessment of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon - Diffuse Interstellar Band Proposal. Astrophys J. 458, 621-636.

Salama, F., Joblin, C., & Allamandola, L. J. (1995). Absorption spectroscopy of neutral and ionized PAHs. Implications for the Diffuse Interstellar Bands. In The Diffuse Interstellar Bands, A. G. G. M. Tielens & T. P. Snow, eds., (Kluwer: Dordrecht), pp. 207-217.

Salama, F., & Allamandola, L. J. (1993). Neutral and Ionized PAHs, The Diffuse Interstellar Bands, and the Ultraviolet Extinction Curve. J. Chem. Soc.Faraday Trans. 89, 2277-2284.

Salama, F., & Allamandola, L. J. (1992). The Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrum of the PAH C10H8+: Possible Contributions to the Diffuse Interstellar Bands and to the UV-Visible Extinction. Astrophys. J. 395, 301-306.

Salama, F., & Allamandola, L. J. (1992). Is a Pyrene-Like Molecular Ion Responsible for the 4430 Å Diffuse Interstellar Band? Nature 358, 42-43.

1. ^ Heger, Mary Lea (1922). "Further study of the sodium lines in class B stars ; The spectra of certain class B stars in the regions 5630A-6680A and 3280A-3380A ; Note on the spectrum of gamma Cassiopeiae between 5860A and 6600A". Lick Observatory Bulletin 10 (337): 146. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.

1. Fossey S.J., Crawford I.A. (2000), Observing with the Ultra-High-Resolution Facility at the Anglo-Australian Telescope: Structure of Diffuse Interstellar Bands, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, v.32, p.727

2. Sollerman, J.; Cox, N.; Mattila, S.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Kaper, L.; Leibundgut, B.; Lundqvist, P., (2005), Diffuse Interstellar Bands in NGC 1448, Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.429, p.559-567

3. Krelowski, J., Diffuse interstellar bands - an observational review, Universitaet Jena, Jena Conference on Physics and Properties of Interstellar Matter Related to the Formation and Evolution of Stars, German Democratic Republic, May 2-7, 1988, Astronomische Nachrichten (ISSN 0004-6337), vol. 310, no. 4, 1989, p. 255-263

4. Galazutdinov G., Stachowska W., Musaev F., Moutou C., Lo Curto G., Krelowski J (2002), Fine structure of profiles of weak diffuse interstellar bands, Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.396, p.987-991

5. Ehrenfreund P. (1999), The Diffuse Interstellar Bands as evidence for polyatomic molecules in the diffuse interstellar medium, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, v.31, p.880

6. Herbig, G. H. (1995), The Diffuse Interstellar Bands, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.33, pp. 19-74.

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