Professor Tom Keane's Research to Be Presented at International Forum

February 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Professor's Research in Interstellar Chemistry to be Presented at Prestigious International Forum.

Professor Tom Keane's contributions to the field of Astrochemistry will be presented at an upcoming Faraday Discussion meeting, June 14-16, in Brittany, France. Results from Dr. Keane's laboratory simulation experiments and theoretical analysis of the planetary atmospheric photochemistry on Jupiter were used in a collaborative effort with Dr. Julianne Moses, of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and Space Sciences Institute. Dr. Moses is an internationally recognized expert in the computational modeling of planetary atmospheres. Keane's kinetic measurements of quantum yields, along with his proposed reaction pathways in the coupled photochemistry of ammonia and acetylene on Jupiter, were used by Dr. Moses to construct a computer model that can then be extrapolated to recently discovered giant planets around other stars, as well as the outer atmospheres of brown dwarfs.

Information returned from robotic spacecraft has stimulated major efforts in laboratory experiments and computational modeling, and created a fascinating area for multidisciplinary exchange around the theme of the chemistry of the planets, encompassing aspects of chemistry (physical, organic and inorganic), physics and astronomy, geology and geochemistry, and exobiology. The recent discovery of water and methane in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet (exoplanet) opens up a whole new and exciting field of planetary chemistry outside of the Solar System.

Faraday Discussion 147 , Chemistry of the Planets will focus on the themes:

Planetary exploration: present and future

Ground-based and remote experimental techniques for planetary chemistry

Chemistry of giant exoplanets

Chemistry of extraterrestrial atmospheres

Surface chemistry, surface - atmosphere interactions and volcanism

Planetary atmospheric aerosols

Faraday Discussion meetings provide a unique international forum for the exchange of views and newly acquired results in developing areas of physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry and chemical physics.

The papers presented are published in the Faraday Discussion volume together with a record of the discussion contributions made at the meeting. Faraday Discussions therefore provide an important record of current international knowledge and views in the field concerned. The latest (2008) impact factor of Faraday Discussions is 4.60