Molecular hydrogen has an important role in the early stages of star formation as well as in the production of many other molecules that have been detected in the interstellar medium. In this review we show that it is now possible to study the formation of molecular hydrogen in simulated astrophysical environments. Since the formation of molecular hydrogen is believed to take place on dust grains, we show that surface science techniques such as thermal desorption and time-of-flight can be used to measure the recombination efficiency, the kinetics of reaction and the dynamics of desorption. The analysis of the experimental results using rate equations gives useful insight on the mechanisms of reaction and yields values of parameters that are used in theoretical models of interstellar cloud chemistry.
Vidali, Gianfranco and Roser, Joe, "Formation of Molecular Hydrogen on Analogues of Interstellar Dust Grains: Experiments and Modelling" (2005). Physics. 507.
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