In order to understand the cosmic origins of life it is necessary to follow step-by-step the transition from the simplicity of the first atoms to the complexity of prebiotic molecules. Recent advances in sub-millimeter (ALMA, NOEMA) and IR (Spitzer, Herschel, SOFIA) observational facilities allow us to obtain a census of the chemical complexity in space. Astronomical Complex Organic Molecules (ACOMs) have been observed in nearby forming stars at all evolutionary stages (from pre-stellar cores to proto-stars and proto-planetary disks) as well as in nearby and high-z galaxies. The comprehension of the gas and dust chemical evolution in space requires a strong synergy between astrophysicists and chemists, flowing into the field of astrochemistry. Thanks to the great advances in the modeling of gas-phase and surface chemistry through laboratory works as well as quantum chemistry calculations, we now have the tools to investigate the formation routes of ACOMs in space, building blocks of pre-biotic molecules such as amino-acids and sugars.

The main goal of the 1st Italian Workshop on Astrochemistry is to bring together astrophysicists and chemists working on observations, theoretical models, and laboratory experiments to present their recent advances, to discuss about the open questions, and to plan future collaborations. In particular, the workshop will be focussed on four topics:

  • Observations of (complex) molecules in space
  • Kinetics and molecular spectroscopy
  • Modelling and experiments of complex molecules formation
  • Prebiotic chemistry

Interaction between the different communities will be encouraged through long discussions at the end of each session.