Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy


Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

Stephen Lepp, Chair

Second Committee Member

Kentaro Nagamine

Third Committee Member

Bing Zhang

Graduate Faculty Representative

Balakrishnan Naduvalath

Number of Pages



The implications of H+H2 cooling in astrophysics is important to several applications. One of the most significant and pure applications is its role in cooling in the early universe. Other applications would include molecular dynamics in nebulae and their collapse into stars and astrophysical shocks. Shortly after the big bang, the universe was a hot primordial gas of photons, electrons, and nuclei among other ingredients. By far the most dominant nuclei in the early universe was hydrogen. In fact, in the early universe the matter density was 90 percent hydrogen and only 10 percent helium with small amounts of lithium and deuterium. In order for structure to form in the universe, this primordial gas must form atoms and cool. One of the significant cooling mechanisms is the collision of neutral atomic hydrogen with a neutral diatomic hydrogen molecule. This work performs calculations to determine collisional cooling rates of hydrogen using two potential surfaces.


Astrophysics; Bkmp2; Dominant nuclei; Hydrogen; Interstellar hydrogen; Ion recombination; Mielke; Pure sciences; Rate coefficients; Recombination


Astrophysics and Astronomy | Chemistry | Cosmology, Relativity, and Gravity | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy




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