AuthorTenenbaum, Emily Dale
AdvisorZIURYS, LUCY M
Committee ChairZiurys, Lucy M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMillimeter wave studies of molecules in circumstellar envelopes and a planetary nebula have been conducted. Using the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO) on Mt. Graham, a comparative spectral survey from 215-285 GHz was carried out of the carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch star IRC +10216 and the oxygen-rich supergiant VY Canis Majoris. A total of 858 emission lines were observed in both objects, arising from 40 different molecules. In VY Canis Majoris, AlO, AlOH, and PO were detected for the first time in interstellar space. In IRC +10216, PH3 was detected for the first time beyond the solar system, and C3O, and CH2NH were found for the first time in a circumstellar envelope. Additionally, in the evolved planetary nebula, the Helix, H2CO, C2H, and cyclic-C3H2 were observed using the SMT and the Kitt Peak 12 m telescopes. The presence of these three molecules in the Helix suggests that relatively complex chemistry occurs in planetary nebulae, despite the harsh ultraviolet field. Overall, the research on molecules in circumstellar and planetary nebulae furthers our understanding of the nature of the material that is fed back into the interstellar medium from evolved stars. Besides telescope work, laboratory research was also conducted - the rotational spectrum of ZnCl was measured and its bond length and rotational constants were determined. Lastly, in partial fulfillment of a graduate certificate in entrepreneurial chemistry, the commercial applications of terahertz spectroscopy were explored through literature research.