The ALMA Observatory (Chajnantor, 
Chile). Credits: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ W.Garnier (ALMA)

Scientific rationale




Final scientific program


Invited speakers




Registration and Abstract submission


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Pre-registered participants


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Scientific Organising Committee


Local Organising Committee



Recent News



July 9, 2012: Preliminary list of invited speakers released


July 3, 2012: Registration and Abstract submission instructions released


June 26, 2012: First announcement released


2nd National Conference on Laboratory and Molecular Astrophysics


November 14 - 16, 2012

Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla, Spain)


Scientific Rationale

The launch of the Herschel Space Telescope in 2009 has opened new windows onto the Molecular Universe. Herschel is featuring the highest-ever angular and spectral resolution in the far-infrared in order to study cool objects across the Universe: in particular the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies, and their relationship. Moreover, over the next years, ALMA will open up the universe to high spatial and spectral resolution studies at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. This will allow us to study, in much greater detail, the composition, origin and evolution of molecules in space and promises to boost our view of the dynamics and the physical and chemical conditions in a wide range of objects at scales ranging from budding planetary systems to galactic and extragalactic sizes. The preparation for this new era of precission core studies is a clear goal for the Spanish community, and it requires prompt action to combine new tools of radiative transfer modelling with state of the art determinations of the relevant molecular parameters and key chemical reactions.

Several groups in Spain can perform detailed laboratory experiments and ab initio calculations that will be highly profitable for Molecular Astrophysics. The 2nd National Conference on Laboratory and Molecular Astrophysics, to be held in Sevilla on November 14-16, will encompass Astronomy, Physics, and Chemistry to deal with the extraordinary challenges the spanish community must face in the upcoming years. The detection of many thousands of new spectral features with the ALMA observatory, their identification, analysis and interpretation in terms of the physical and chemical characteristics of the astronomical sources will require detailed astronomical modelling tools supported by laboratory measurements and theoretical studies of chemical reactions and collisional excitation rates on species of astrophysical relevance. These tasks must also be supported with the income of new instrumental developments in the Chemical-Physics Laboratories that will grant access to a series of experiments whose results will be most relevant for the interpretation and analysis of the data obtained with Herschel and ALMA.

The key topics that will be addressed at this 2nd National Conference on Laboratory and Molecular Astrophysics are:

  • Water vapour in the Universe
  • Carbon, nitrogen and oxygen chemistry
  • Deuterated molecules
  • Chemical complexity
  • Molecular ionisation and photodissociation
  • Molecular tracers of shocks
  • Interstellar dust grain chemistry
  • Development of new techniques and instrumentation
  • Laboratory measurements and spectroscopic characterisation of molecules
  • Development of radiative transfer codes
  • Development of new ab initio and dynamical methods

This conference is partially funded through the Consolider-Ingenio project 'Molecular Astrophysics: the Herschel and ALMA era' (ASTROMOL, Ref.: CSD2009-00038) under the Spanish Programa Consolider-Ingenio 2010 (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación).

In summary, this conference will cover the entire field of astrochemistry in order to make investigators from Spain aware of the many new advances of the last years, and to acquaint them with the explosive growth in the subject to be coming in the next few years in the ALMA era.



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