Introducing astrochemistry to a wide audience, this book describes how molecules formed in chemical reactions occur in a range of environments in interstellar and circumstellar space, from shortly after the Big Bang up to the present epoch. Stressing that chemistry in these environments needs to be driven, it helps identify these drivers and the various chemical networks that operate giving rise to signature molecules that enable the physics of the region to be better understood. The book emphasises, in a non-mathematical way, the chemistry of the Milky Way Galaxy and its planet-forming regions, describes how other galaxies may have rather different chemistries and shows how chemistry was important even in the Early Universe when most of the elements had yet to be formed. This book will appeal to anyone with a general interest in chemistry, from students to professional scientists working in interdisciplinary areas and non-scientists fascinated by the evolving and exciting story of chemistry in the cosmos.
Introduction to Astrochemistry; Interstellar Molecular Hydrogen; Chemical Routes to Interstellar Molecules; Molecules in the Milky Way Galaxy; The Path to Planets; A Universe of Galaxies; The Early Universe; Why Chemistry is Important for Astronomy; Why Astronomy is Important for Chemistry; Subject Index