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This Week at Physics

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Events on Thursday, December 4th, 2014

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Title to be announced
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Peter Denton, Vanderbilt University
Abstract: TBA
Host: Westerhoff
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Astronomy Colloquium
Cosmic-Ray Ionization Rates in the Galactic ISM
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Nick Indriolo, University of Michigan
Abstract: Cosmic rays play a vital role in initiating the chemistry that occurs in molecular clouds. The ionization of H and H2 begins a network of ion-molecule reactions responsible for generating many of the diatomic and small polyatomic molecules observed in the interstellar medium. A few such species---HCO+, DCO+, OH+, H2O+, and H3+ in particular---are formed and destroyed by rather simple processes, making them powerful probes of the cosmic-ray ionization rate. I will discuss the current status of observations of these molecular ions within our Galaxy, as well as the conclusions that can be drawn from this ever-growing sample.
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