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Paper: Terahertz Spectroscopy in the Lab and at Telescopes
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 231
Authors: Blake, G. A.
Abstract: The section of the electromagnetic spectrum extending roughly from wavelengths of 3 mm to 30 μm is commonly known as the far-infrared or TeraHertz (THz) region. It contains the great majority of the photons emitted by the universe, and THz observations of molecules and dust are able penetrate deeply into molecular clouds, thus revealing the full history of star and planet formation. Accordingly, the upcoming deployments of the Herschel, ALMA, and SOFIA observatories promise to revolutionize our understanding of THz astrophysics. To fully realize this promise, however, it is essential that we achieve a quantitative experimental understanding of the dust, ice, and gas which make up the ISM. After outlining the tremendous impact that Tom Phillips has had on astronomical applications of THz radiation, this contribution will describe how emerging technologies in ultrafast lasers are enabling the development of integrated frequency- and time-domain THz facilities that can acquire high dynamic range optical constants of the major components that comprise astrophysical dust, ice and organics across the full wavelength region accessible to Herschel and other THz observatories.
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