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David S. Meier



Associate Professor (Astrophysics)
Physics Department
333 Workman Center
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801

Phone: (575) 835-5340 
Office: Workman 359 

David.Meier@nmt.edu

 







Useful Astronomy Links:

A.D.S.
N.E.D.
D.S.S.
Skyview
Astro-ph
Astrophysical Journal
Astronomical Journal
A.R.A.&A.
Splatalogue
JPL molspec
Cologne molspec
Lovas List
Astrochemistry.net
The Astrochymist
Sky & Telescope
Astronomy Mag.

Recent Press:

12/16 --- On Our II Zw40 40 ALMA results here & here
03/15 --- On Our NGC 5253 SMA results here & here

Research:

Stars form from dense molecular clouds. However the particulars of how this process is regulated, especially on galactic scales, remains a field of active research. My research focuses on the evolution of star formation and its natal fuel across galaxies. My primarily observational program uses radio/millimeter interferometry and IR continuum/spectroscopy of nearby star forming galaxies to image, at high spatial resolution, the physical and chemical properties of star formation's molecular gas fuel. The radio/millimeter spectroscopy is done using interferometers including, NRAO's Jansky Very Large Array, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, the Australia Telescope Compact Array and the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. Such observations illuminate the physical (temperature, density, pressure, amount and location of heating/cooling sources) and dynamical (gas motions, locations of shocked gas, presence of outflows, feedback from pre-existing stars or supermassive black holes [AGN]) properties of a galaxy. The changing gas properties are compared with maps of star formation rate and efficiency from radio/mm continuum and IR continuum/spectroscopy. The IR observations are done with both ground and space-based telescopes including, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the W. H. Keck Observatories.

Studying spectral lines originating from transitions between quantum mechanical levels within a wide variety of molecules give us directly the chemical abundances in the interstellar medium, as well as can be used as 'thermometers' and 'barometers' of the gas. [For a description of interstellar molecular spectroscopy see the nice online NRAO Essentials of Radio Astronomy Lecture section.] Moreover, the abundances and temperatures of the molecular gas tell us about the internal microphysics that control the cloud's state. Different molecules trace different chemical regimes. Fortunately the interstellar medium has a rich chemistry of diagnostic molecules ( see list; with one of these [Cyanoformaldehyde] being co-discovered by yours truly), including both common species found on Earth (e.g. water [H2O], ammonia [NH3], methane [CH4], formaldehyde [H2CO], carbon monoxide [CO]) and more exotic species (e.g. HCO+, N2H+, c-C3H2, HCCNC, HC9N). Example research highlights are given below:

Recent Research Highlights:

See Publications for an exhaustive list of my publications. If you would like to use the images below, a citation to the paper is required and I would appreciate an email indicating their use.
Google Scholar Citations


Students:

Graduate:
Mark McCoy (Ph.D.) (current)

Crystal Anderson (Ph.D.) (Graduated - 2016)
Alexandra Lutz (M.S.) (Graduated - 2013)

Undergraduate:

Molecular Spectroscopy Notes:

Below are a couple of molecular line primers to aid the extragalactic community is setting up telescopic observations.

EXTRAGALACTIC MOLECULAR LINE PRIMER (ALMA bands 3 & 6)

EXTRAGALACTIC MOLECULAR LINE PRIMER (VLA bands L - Q)

(The VLA band primer may also be found linked from the NRAO spectral line intro webpage.)