Splinter Meeting CosmicRays

Impact of Cosmic Rays on the Physics and Chemistry of Dense Molecular Gas

Time: Monday September 13, 09:00-13:00 CEST (UTC+2)

Room: virtual Cosmic

Convenor(s): Brandt Gaches [1], Thomas Bisbas [1], Alexei Ivlev [2], Andrew Strong [2]
[1] Uni Köln, [2] MPE

Cosmic rays (CRs) are energetic charged particles that are accelerated in extreme environments. In dense molecular gas that is shielded from external UV radiation, the ionization of atoms and molecules by CRs plays a crucial role in driving chemical and physical processes as well as in affecting the emission of ionic, atomic and molecular lines. At high column densities, CRs ionize H2 initiating a diverse chemistry through fast ion-neutral reactions. The interaction of CRs with the dense gas induces UV photons via H2 electronic excitation. These influence the chemistry in icy grain mantles, as does the deposition of energy by direct CR bombardment. In chemical models, the above processes are controlled by the so-called “cosmic-ray ionization rate”, ζ, making it one of the most important parameters for the underlying physics and chemistry of dense gas. In molecular clouds, ζ is most sensitive to the flux of low-energy CRs (1–100 MeV). However, the transport of low-energy CRs through dense gas is poorly constrained, and estimates of ζ in such regions are highly uncertain. Furthermore, recent observations in dense cores suggest a conflict with current cosmic-ray transport models. Therefore, understanding both the transport of CRs and the chemistry they drive is vital. During this splinter session, we will bring together researchers across a range of communities, including astrochemists and cosmic-ray transport modellers. These communities do not often meet together, despite how intertwined the research can be. We will focus on talks by junior researchers and develop an interdisciplinary session. We anticipate a fruitful discussion which will help the astrochemical, star formation and high-energy astrophysics communities.
Important questions that will be discussed during this session will be:

  1. What is the impact of cosmic-rays on gas- and ice-phase chemistry, particularly in regions with high cosmic-ray ionization rates?
  2. What are the best observations and calibrations to constrain the cosmic-ray ionization rate?
  3. How do low-energy cosmic rays transport through dense molecular gas? What observations need to be done to constrain this?
  4. Is there an observable correlation between the star-formation rate and the cosmic-ray ionization rate?
  5. Looking forward: what kinds of observational facilities and instruments and theoretical models are needed to constrain the transport of low-energy cosmic rays and the cosmic-ray ionization rate in dense gas?


Monday September 13, 09:00-13:00 Impact of Cosmic Rays on the Physics and Chemistry of Dense Molecular Gas (virtual Cosmic)

09:15  Christian Rab:
Constraining the energetic particle flux of young stars during the period of planet formation.

09:45  Elena Redaelli:
The cosmic-ray ionisation rate in the prestellar core L1544

10:15  Kedron Silsbee:
Constraining the physics of cosmic ray transport in dense gas

10:45  Break

11:15  Sergio Ioppolo:
Laboratory Ice Astrochemistry at ATOMKI - A New Experimental Facility for Ion Impact Studies of Astrophysical Ice Analogues

11:45  M.E. Palumbo:
Chemical and physical effects after ion bombardment of astrophysical ice analogs

12:15  Philipp Girichidis:
Spectrally resolved cosmic rays in MHD simulations

12:45  Discussion

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