Astrochemistry:
The study of the chemical behaviour of atoms and molecules in astrophysical environments.

Link to my new University of Virginia Group Research Page.

This website is intended to provide information about my research program, and about astrochemistry and molecular astrobiology in general.
My research involves the simulation of chemistry in the gas phase, on dust-grain surfaces, and within astrophysical ices. I seek to answer questions such as:

  • Can biologically-relevant molecules — such as glycine — form during star formation?

  • What is the relationship between interstellar and cometary ices?

  • How can we improve spectroscopic predictions based on chemical models?

  • How do interstellar dust-grain characteristics affect complex organic chemistry?

  • How do we best extract chemical/physical parameters from laboratory ice experiments?

  • Can we model the structure — as well as the chemistry — of dust-grain ices?

On this last topic, my videos and advanced videos pages show computer-generated videos of my new microscopic Monte Carlo simulations of grain-surface chemistry on interstellar dust grains.

See the publication here (Garrod 2013).

On the left is a video of one of these simulations. It shows the formation of amorphous water-ice (via surface chemistry) on an interstellar dust grain.

Not just chemistry, but structure!

There’s more explanation under the research and videos tabs.