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ACS Astrochemistry Subdivision Opens Up Affiliate Status for AAS, LAD and DPS Members

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 09:01

The recently established Astrochemistry Subdivision of the Division of Physical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS)  invites members of the American Astronomical Society, of the AAS Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD), and of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) to join the ACS Astrochemistry Subdivision as an Affiliate Member. Please complete a division application form and email or fax (614-447-3671) it to ACS Member Services. Note that the PHYS annual membership dues are $15, which should be remitted with the form. Please indicate that you would like to join the Astrochemistry Subdivision.

The Astrochemistry Subdivision provides an interdisciplinary "home" for individuals interested in astrochemically related research via experiments, theory, observations, space missions, and modeling. Astrochemistry is the study of the abundances and chemical reactions of atoms, molecules, and ions and how they interact with radiation in the gas phase and in the condensed phase in solar systems and in the interstellar medium (ISM) leading to the formation and breaking of chemical bonds. Astrochemistry presents both an interdisciplinary and a multidisciplinary field with ties to the traditional disciplines chemistry, planetary science, chemical biology, physics, and astronomy.

Here chemistry, defined as the change of matter, is vital in unraveling the chemical and astrobiological evolution of matter on the microscopic (elementary chemical reactions) and macroscopic (planets, moons, interstellar medium) levels. Since the present composition of each macroscopic environment reflects the matter from which it was formed and the chemical processes that have changed the chemical nature since the origin, a detailed investigation of the processes altering the chemical composition of the pristine environment is critical to rationalize its contemporary makeup and to understand its origin and chemistry. Astrochemistry exploits molecular tracers to rationalize the origin and chemical evolution of the interstellar medium and of solar systems by combining laboratory studies (chemical dynamics and kinetics, spectroscopy), theoretical chemistry, astrochemical modeling, astronomical observations, and space missions. This work requires a concerted interdisciplinary relationship between chemists, physicists, astronomers, chemical biologists, and planetary scientists.

We would also like to thank those of you who supported the establishment of the Astrochemistry Subdivision! We hope that this creates a thriving Astrochemistry Subdivision that is able to serve the community.

Ralf-Ingo Kaiser
University of Hawaii
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