The Crunch

Well… A crunch anyway. Perhaps not the crunch…

So feedback on my report was pretty good. All the critique I was hoping for, anyway; I certainly wasn’t expecting everything to be spot on first time (that would be miraculous). Still, all in all, I think things are going well. I certainly intend to take on all of the advice I’m given. As Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. It would certainly be nice to see further, and this world offers no shortage of giants, upon whose shoulders one can stand.

So the things for me to concentrate on are:

    On Circumstellar Shells

  • Be cautious about what terminology I use. Some terms are widely used, while other terms are used rather less frequently
  • Consider the major differences in the extended structure of AGB stars, and how they differ from main sequence stars
  • Make my points clearer: regarding what I mean and how it relates

    On PAH Formation

  • Make better reference to existing reviewed mechanisms
  • Include better citation/discussion of McCall, Frenklach and Fiegelsen, Cherchneff and Barker, etc

    On small molecules

  • Use higher level approaches to problems (mapping contours, etc)


  • Make a clearer distinction within the discourse between literature, trivia and conjecture
  • General grammatical things; capital L for Lorentzian, those damn apostrophes, etc

So what’s next?
Well, my work on PAH formation and the concepts behind my work on small molecules are good. They need to be elaborated upon, but that’s certainly not a problem. I think picking up IDL (and dropping Fortran) for my modelling work would probably do me a world of good. Plus, there are plenty of people I can ask for help if I have troubles with IDL!

Plan of Action:

  • Learn IDL (shouldn’t be too difficult) and make some better models
  • Expand work on C2 to include rotational contours
  • Continue PAH formation work (including investigating molecular geometries and potential energy surfaces)
  • Learn how to use time dependent DFT calculations and apply them to my work
  • Get some quantitative results, dammit!


  • Investigate relative stability of PAHs with size/morphology
  • Consider circumstellar hydrodynamics
  • Read up about chemical reaction network theory and see how it might apply

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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