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Research Fellows Directory

Jonathan Tennyson

Professor Jonathan Tennyson

Research Fellow


University College London

Research summary

It is now apparent that exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) are

common and most stars support such planets. The wealth of

observational discoveries, however, is not well matched by theoretical

advances in the same field: modelling the atmospheres of planetary and

stellar objects, and hence deriving their chemical composition,

temperature, etc. is still impeded by the lack of fundamental data,

especially in molecular spectroscopy. Extremely expensive, new and

forthcoming telescopes (Herschel, ALMA, ELT, JWST, SPICA) or proposed

ones (Twinkle, Ariel) will only help to characterise such objects if a

commensurate effort is made to secure the tools required to interpret

the observations. The ExoMol project aims to provide the information

needed to understand the physics and chemistry of astronomical bodies

cool enough to form molecules in their atmospheres such as cool stars,

extrasolar planets. The project is now actively producing very

extensive line lists of spectroscopic data (a single molecule can

undergo a billion different transitions). This is generating significant

interest from astronomers and others world-wide.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Molecular line lists for extra solar planet and other hot bodies

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Sep 2011 - Aug 2016

Value: £72,000