About this Research Topic
This Research Topic deals with the most recent advances in the theoretical approaches, and their applications, for the characterization of astrophysical molecular species. Indeed, a deep understanding of their structure, spectroscopic properties and reactivity is crucial to enlighten the complex processes governing the physical chemistry of the astrophysical media. Contributions may include the description of new theoretical methodologies for accurate simulations of molecular systems, either in the gas phase or adsorbed on solid substrates (e.g. interstellar grains, planetary soils…) or their extension and use for the study of complex organic molecules or exotic molecular species (unstable isotopologues, metallic compounds…). Also, studies of radical-radical and ion-molecule reactions at low collision energies, where electronic, spin and nuclear effects are in action, are welcome.
In addition, this Research Topic will include contributions dealing with the determination of the abundances of these species in the remote space through the assessment of their collision rates with the most abundant astrophysical species (i.e. H, H2, He). In this context, several developments in the field of state-to-state dynamics and their applications to astrophysical problems were reported recently.
The theoretical models supporting the analysis of experimental data from direct astronomical observation of the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres, or space missions, as well as from the dedicated laboratory studies will be also included. Finally, experimental works on these topics, closely connected to aforementioned theoretical studies, can also be considered.
Keywords: Molecular spectroscopy, Dynamics, Astrophysical media, Theoretical computations, Interplay theory-experiment-observation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.