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Laboratory Spectroscopy of Positive and Negative Ions

Wednesday, December 15, 2010- 4:00pm

CCU Lecture Series, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville


Valerio Lattanzi


Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics




Past and present radioastronomical observations have revealed the richness and complexity of the ISM, consisting of exotic and more familiar molecules, in different states of excitation and ionization.Ions, positive and negative, are an important tool to unveil the chemistry of the interstellar gas, providing useful information on the physical conditions of the astronomical sources, and in some case to trace the abundances of non-polar molecules, not observable by radioastronomical means.
In the past few years the spectra of several protonated and anionic species have been observed and precisely characterized by our group. In this talk I will review the work carried out more recently in our laboratory in Cambridge to detect and analyze new molecular ions of astrophysical interest. The experimental techniques, involving microwave and millimeter-wave spectrometers will be also presented. Lastly, some more recent results, involving the laboratory detection of neutral and radical species will be shown.


Valerio Lattanzi graduated in 2005 with a MS in Physics from the University of Rome "Sapienza" (Italy), in the Experimental Cosmology Group. He received a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Toulouse "Paul Sabatier" (France) and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Rome "Sapienza" in 2008. The work carried out in Toulouse has been focused on extending the rotational spectra of key interstellar molecules into the THz region. In Rome the main topic was the development of an acusto-optic spectrometer for cosmological studies.
Since December 2008 he is a Post-Doctoral visiting scientist in the Thaddeus/McCarthy group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His current work is focused on the detection and analysis of new reactive molecular species of astronomical interest in the microwave and millimeter-wave region.