Computational AstroChemistry - a New Era?

A meeting of the Astrophysical Chemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Astronomical Society.
Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University College London (UCL),
Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th January, 2009.

The huge expansion in the UK's HEI computing power and the recent STFC High Performance Computing award to UCL and Manchester to support Astrochemical data modelling for the JCMT Spectral Line Survey Programme and Herschel Guaranteed Programme Observations have set the scene for a large expansion in the amount and complexity of astrochemical modelling that can now be undertaken.

Computation can now also be seen for the first time as a viable method for the accurate calculation of large numbers of kinetic rate constants.

All this makes our Laboratory Astrophysics programmes more vital than ever in providing key constraints and data for rate constants and chemical process, as well as becoming the focus for Lab measurements of real astrophysical processes.

This meeting will discuss areas such as:

  • Using the time variability of Astrochemical models to determine and predict the chemical, dynamical and evolutionary state of molecular regions.

  • Putting Chemistry into dynamical and radiative models and vice versa.

  • Ab initio calculations of chemical data, in particular kinetic rate constants for surface reactions.

  • Data Modelling:

    • what surprises could the JCMT SLS and Herschel data have in store for us?

    • what results have challenged astrochemical models?

    • what new results have come from modelling observations.?

  • Lab Astrophysics: Keeping our feet on the ground and doing "real" astrochemistry?


When and Where:

The meeting will be held on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th January 2009.

Location - Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCL. Click Here for details of how to get to the Physics and Astronomy Department.



Accommodation lists can be found here
UCL hotels list
(choose London and then for the "Closest to" box choose "Euston Station")



Programme and Speakers:

Serena Viti will discuss the future of computational astrochemistry.

Tom Millar and Tom Hartquist will discuss both present and future astrochemical models.

Ben Slater will outline current ab initio techniques to cacluate kinetic rate data.

Eric Herbst, Ian Smith and Valentine Wakelam will discuss which key kinetic rates need to be measured/calculated and the impact of poor kinetic data on Astrochemical models.

Christine Joblin and Ian Sims will discuss the impact Lab Astrochemistry has already had on our astrochemical models.

Jenny Hatchell, Matt Redman and Malcolm Gray will discuss new results from the JCMT surveys, what issues face data modellers due to large surveys, and discuss recent improvements in our spectral line radiative transfer methods.

We welcome applications to give short oral presentations (20 mins) and poster papers from those wishing to attend this meeting (email,,,

Click here for a detailed programme



A registration fee to cover room hire, tea and coffee will apply (30 GBP for members of the Astrophysical Chemistry Group; 45 GBP for non-members). The registration fee is payable in cash or cheque (payable to 'Astrophysical Chemistry Group') at the meeting.

A limited number of Student bursaries are available from the Astrophysical Chemistry Group to assist the attendance of young scientists. For more details email June Mccombie ( and Jeremy Yates ( The deadline for applications to be received to be considered for these bursaries is 0900 GMT Monday 1st December 2008.

A Conference Dinner will be organised for the 6 January. This will cost approximately 35-40 GBP, payable at registration.


A plain text registration form is available here. Please fill in and return before 1st December 2008, preferably by email, to:

Dr Jeremy Yates
Department of Physics and Astronomy
UCL, Gower St
London, WC1E 6BT, UK