This paper reports the theoretical and experimental work on H2 formation on interstellar dust mimics. These studies are being carried out under the auspices of the UCL Centre for Cosmic Chemistry and Physics.
The purpose of this article is to report on the current state of work at the UCL Centre for Cosmic Chemistry and Physics, a consortium of scientists at University College London addressing problems of chemistry arising in astronomy. All the work currently in progress in this consortium is concerned with H2 formation on surfaces, and it consists of both theoretical and experimental programmes.
The Centre was formed a few years ago when it was realised that advances in both experimental and theoretical techniques now make it possible to address in a realistic manner some problems of longstanding and fundamental interest in astronomy. The expertise at UCL, both in theory and experiment, is very strong on surface reactions; the current motivation from astronomy also emphasises the gas/dust interaction (Williams 1998). It was decided, therefore, to undertake a long-term and coordinated programme on surface processes of relevance to astronomy. Of course, the most fundamental interaction is that leading to H2 formation on dust. There is currently some important experimental and theoretical work being carried out in this particular area, and much of this work has been reported at this meeting. Nevertheless, it was felt that the UCL consortium could make a useful contribution without simply replicating the experiments and calculations of others.
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