Theoretical Astrochemistry at Georgia Southern

Our group exists at the forefront of research in chemistry as it is applied to astronomy. This includes various environments such as the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), circumstellar envelopes, planetary atmospheres, molecular clouds, and stellar outflows to name a few. The chemistry we experience here on Earth is a small sample of the possible ways in which molecules can behave. "In the immensity of space and great eons of time, if you can imagine a molecule, there is a finite probability that is/was somewhere in space," says Dr. Fortenberry (all the time). We are currently exploring the electronically excited states of several "small" anions for their application to unattributed interstellar absorption features and producing rovibrational reference data for anions, cations (including noble gas cations), and radicals to aid in their detection in the ISM. Please check back here for news and updates on our group and research. Motivated students are encouraged to contact Dr. Fortenberry if they are interested in undergraduate or graduate research.  Additional work is being done on growing free computational chemistry laboratory tools and low-cost but high-performance computational chemistry.

  • March 2016, Sophomore student Carlie Novak was accepted into the GSU Honor's Program!
  • February 2016, Senior student Riley A. Theis won first place for her talk at SURC!  Read more.
  • January 2016, Dr. Fortenberry began his tenure as Secretary of the ACS PHYS Astrochemistry Subdivision.
  • December 2015, Dr. Fortenberry was featured for a piece in Scientific American entitled "The Hunt For Alien Molecules" by Clara Moskowitz.