Universiteit Leiden

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Molecules during stellar formation and death

Promotor: Prof.dr. E. F. van Dishoeck, Co-promotor: A. N. Heays

X. Li
12 February 2015
Thesis in Leiden Repository

This thesis explores the chemistry of interstellar and circumstellar molecules during star formation and death. From the perspective of chemical physics, the most important outcome of this thesis lies in that the rates for two important reactions are determined accurately for the first time: N2 photodissociation and reaction rates (both state-to-state and thermal) of OH with H. In particular, accurate N2 photodissociation rate and shielding functions were calculated. The results are very useful in many astrophysical fields. In addition, a new method for accurately calculating molecular shielding functions in full 3D radiation field was proposed, and was employed to give new predictions for molecule distributions in a C-rich AGB star, IRC +10216, and an O-rich AGB star, IK Tau, based on the latest progress from both observations and simulations. By far, these results are the most accurate ones, and can be directly compared to the future observations.

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