PhD in Astrophysics, Bordeaux, France, October 2012
I am an astro( chemist / physicist) interested in the formation of our solar system and other systems. I mainly focus on the evolution of molecules during star formation, and use numerical model to study them.
Space between stars is not empty, but is composed of gas and grain dust particles (1% grain dust and 99% gas). It can be very cold : ~10 K = -260 C = -440 F. Density is quite low too : on Earth surface there are roughly 1019 particles per cm3 in the atmosphere, and in space there are around 104 particles per cm3 depending on where you look. Even with these exotic conditions, molecules exist in space, both in the gas phase, and in the form of ice covering dust grain surface. Up to now, around 200 different molecules have been detected. Some of the big questions I try to answer are : how these molecules are formed, and how do they evolve during the formation of a star. To answer these questions, I use, modify, and create numerical models that compute the evolution of the physics of the matter and models that compute the chemical evolution associated with this matter.