Tom Millar

About me

I am a Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University Belfast where I head the Molecular Astrophysics Group.

Contact details

  • phone: +44 (0)2890976201 (Physics office)
  • office: Room 0G.032 David Bates Building

Research interests

My research is concerned with understanding the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium and using this to probe fundamental processes such as star birth and star death. Specific interests include:

  • Astrochemistry, including that of interstellar and circumstellar clouds, with particular emphasis on the cyanopolyynes, anions, hot molecular cores in regions of star formation, particularly the chemistry of alcohols,- for a popular view of this research, click here, - molecules in regions of star formation, including protoplanetary disks, and the accretion flow in the inner disk.and star death death, including protoplanetary nebulae, and carbon-rich AGB stars, and molecular clouds in external galaxies. A review of astrochemistry in cold clouds can be found here. Full publication details given below.
  • Physics of the interstellar medium including the excitation of molecular hydrogen in protoplanetary disks, including the effects of X-ray and grain growth.
  • Physical, chemical and optical properties of interstellar dust.
  • Spectral line surveys e.g. the 330-360 GHz SEST survey of G34.3+0.15. Click for the paper. (Note that this version of the paper does not contain the figures). A summary of the results is given here. I have been involved in a spectral line survey is the SEST 218-263 GHz scan of 3 positions in the Sgr B2 molecular cloud in the Galactic Centre. The paper discussing the observational data appears in the August 1998 issue of the Astrophyiscal Journal Supplement Series and an analysis of the data in the Supplement Series in 2000. More recent spectral line survey work has been on the W3 molecular cloud. I am currently involved in the JCMT Spectral Line Survey legacy programme.
  • Millimetre and submillimetre observations of interstellar molecules. Recent work has concentrated on a study of 14 hot molecular cores, and on a spectral line survey and molecular line images of the proto-binary source IRAS 16293-2422, and on theoretical models of anion formation and observational tests of anion chemistry.
  • Fundamental chemical kinetic data e.g. reaction rate data. The paper describing this work in detail has been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. The RATE12 data files and related material has its own web site:
  • The interaction between chemistry and astronomy in particular the fractionation of isotopes in interstellar molecules, the formation of multiply deuterated species in interstellar clouds, and the use of deuterium fractionation to probe the physics of star formation.
  • Identifying important chemical reactions for study in the laboratory, in particular those involving dissociative recombination of molecular ions with electrons, including protonated methanol, protonated hydrogen sulphide, and protonated acrylonitrile, CH2CHCNH+.

Research papers

You can get a full list of my papers from this ADS link. A list of recent publications is available on this page.



Powerpoint presentations for my informal lectures on interstellar physics and chemistry can be found here.

You can also download powerpoint presentations and support files for the talks I gave at The Molecular Universe Summer School (Les Houches, 25-30 September 2005) and the Winter School of Theoretical Chemistry (Helsinki, 11-14 December 2006).

A set of links to useful sites such as journals, telescopes, and various molecular databases.

users/tommillar/start.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/11 08:34 by Tom Millar

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