Molecules in Astrophysics and Astrobiology

Interdisciplinary Winter School

February 13-17, 2017, Zurich, Switzerland

Intro Programme Deadlines Venue Registration


    I. Physics of Molecules

  • Diatomic and multi-atomic molecules (SB)
  • Molecules in external fields (SB)
  • Polarized molecular spectra (SB)
  • A quest for new physics with molecules (TBC)

    II. Introduction to Chemistry

  • Chemical bonds (TBC)
  • Chemical reactions: gas, liquid, surface (TBC)
  • Astrochemistry (SW)

    III. Molecules in Space

  • Molecules in the interstellar and intergalactic medium (SW)
  • Molecules in the Sun and stars (NA)
  • Molecules in planetary atmospheres (DC)

    IV. Biophysics & Biochemistry

  • Life molecules (KF)
  • Single-cell organisms (KF)
  • Complex life and evolution (KF)

    V. Life in the Universe

  • Biosignatures and remote detection of ET life (SB)
  • Solar System Candidates for ET life detection (KF)
  • Exoplanet Candidates for ET life detection (DC)
  • What do we need to detect ET Life? (JK)

    VI. Forum: Is life a universal phenomenon? (All)


NA: Nadine Afram, KIS, Germany, & Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
SB: Svetlana Berdyugina, KIS & Department of Physics, University of Freiburg, Germany
DC: David Catling, Astrobiology & Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, USA
KF: Kai Finster, Department of Biosciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark
JK: Jeff Kuhn, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, USA
SW: Susanne Wampfler, Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Switzerland


    I. Extended multiple choice questionnaires for each lecture topic

    II. HotMol computational web tools tutoring

  • Molecular levels and transitions
  • Magnetic perturbations
  • Stokes parameters
  • Stellar light polarization: scattering and magnetism
  • Planet reflected light polarization
  • Biosignature modeling

Exercises and web tools are developed and tutored by the HotMol team.

Professional Development Workshops (PDWs)

    I. Memory techniques

    II. Communication skills & Body language

    III. Public speaking, presenting skills, confidence

    IV. Job interviews

PDWs are carried out by professional psychologists and PD tutors.



Get in Touch

  • Email:
    Send a Mail
  • Address:
    Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik
    79104 Freiburg Germany