Plasma Physics Seminar ( Phys 769)

Murthy Gudipati, IPST, NASA Ames, and University of Cologne

Spectroscopy of Low-Temperature Ices of Water Processed with Plasma (VUV) Radiation: Relevance to Planetary Astronomy & Origins of Life

Cryogenic (30 - 160 K) water-rich ices containing other impurities are common throughout the Solar System, interstellar medium and in our stratosphere. Laboratory experiments have shown that plasma vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation processing or high-energy particle bombardment of these cryogenic ices containing impurities such as methanol (CH3OH), ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) produce complex organic species, including important molecules for life such as amino acids and functionalized PAHs, which could have played a role in the origins of life.