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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/T27624/01
Title: State-selective formation of H2, D2 and HD from H and D atoms on cosmic dust analogues at astrophysical temperatures
Principal Investigator: Price, Professor SD
Other Investigators:
Fisher, Professor AJ Rawlings, Professor JMC Clary, Professor Sir D
Williams, Professor DA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Professor AJ Meijer
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 April 2005 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 456,996
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure Gas & Solution Phase Reactions
Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The formation of H2 from atomic hydrogen in interstellar space occurs on the surface of dust grains. The surfaces are cold (10-20 K) and the gas is cold (100 K) and diffuse. The nascent energy content of the molecular hydrogen generated in this reaction has profound effects on current models of the interstellar medium. In initial experiments we have detected H2 formed in its first and second excited vibrational levels on a 15 K graphite surface. We propose to dramatically extend the experimental arrangement to: (i) generate D atoms in addition to H atoms, so we can probe the formation of D2 and HD in addition to H2; (ii) probe higher lying vibrational levels of these product molecules; (iii) measure the translational energy of the products so that the energy balance is fully determined. Experiments forming HD will allow us to study the formation of vibrationally unexcited molecules and to search for isotope effects. We also propose a parallel theoretical effort to extend current quantum chemical methodologies to allow us to calculate the product energy distributions as a function of: (i) the nature of the surface and its degree of order; (ii) the reaction mechanism; (iii) the extent of energy flow into the surface. Such detailed modelling of this fundamental reaction will be required to rationalize the experimental results.
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Project URL: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/academic_pages/stephen_price
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