Lou Allamandola (SS) and Alain Leger (Prof. University of Paris) will be the center of attention at the international symposium “PAHs and the Universe” which will be held May 31st through June 4th, 2010 in Toulouse, France. Lou and Alain will be honored for their accomplishments in opening up and driving the interstellar Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) field for many years. The meeting marks the 25th anniversary of the PAH Hypothesis and will bring together experts in the areas of astronomical observations, laboratory studies and astronomical modeling of interstellar PAHs and related carbon-rich nano-particles. Lou and his coauthors Xander Tielens and John Barker received the H. Julien Allen Award in 1985 for their paper which first suggested that ionized PAHs were responsible for the interstellar “Unidentified Infrared Bands” which were discovered in 1973 and are now known to be widespread throughout the Universe. Since 1990, about half of the work in the Ames Astrochemistry laboratory was devoted to testing the PAH hypothesis and providing laboratory data to analyze spectra measured on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and The Spitzer Space Telescope. These experiments and coordinated theoretical developments played a major role in acceptance of the PAH Hypothesis and brought the field to scientific maturity. Pioneering measurements made with SOFIA and Herschel (the recently launched far-infrared space observatory) will be the next observations that rely on the PAH spectra in the Ames PAH IR Spectral Database.
“PAHs in the Universe” symposium website is: http://pahconf.cesr.fr/index.php