Shocks are one of the major manifestations of the feedback of star formation. The aim of the project is to characterize the impact of protostellar shocks on the chemical composition of the parental molecular cloud. There is mounting evidence that such shocks strongly alter the molecular complexity of protostellar gas, while they can serve to probe the chemical composition of the molecular gas and dust during the prestellar phase. However, detailed studies exploring a wide range of the shock parameter space are missing. Also, the physical and chemical processes responsible for the emerging molecular complexity remain to be identified.
In a first step, the ESR will obtain a full quantitative census of the chemical composition of a typical protostellar shock. The project will make use of the Large Programs CHESS, ASAI, SOLIS and FAUST led by the group with the Herschel space mission and the World-class observatories IRAM and ALMA, plus some complementary data if needed. In a second step, the ESR will compare the properties of specific molecular probes with the predictions of shock models developed in the ACO team, for different shock parameters and physical conditions in the molecular cloud. They will serve to put stringent constraints on shock processes and, more generally, on the chemical processes both on grain surfaces and in the gas phase.
The thesis is part of the ACO network, whose ultimate goal is to reconstruct the early history of the Solar System by comparing presently forming solar-type planetary systems with its small bodies. The comparison will be based on the most advanced astrochemical knowledge, which will be developed by the interdisciplinary ACO team.