Clara Sousa-Silva

Postdoctoral Associate, MIT

Clara Sousa-Silva, a molecular astrophysicist, uses quantum physics and computer simulations to figure out what molecules look like when they interact with light. She then uses these molecular fingerprints to deduce what the composition of any atmosphere is, be it on Earth or elsewhere in the galaxy. In her words, "Light from an atmosphere can tell us so much - whether we are seeing pollution, oceans or even life. But without knowing what each meaningful molecule looks like, that light is indecipherable. That's why my work is crucial if we want to understand alien worlds, and eventually detect a new Earth."

(Image: MIT)

Clara Sousa-Silva, a molecular astrophysicist, uses quantum physics and computer simulations to figure out what molecules look like when they interact with light. She then uses these molecular fingerprints to deduce what the composition of any atmosphere is, be it on Earth or elsewhere in the galaxy. In her words, "Light from an atmosphere can tell us so much - whether we are seeing pollution, oceans or even life. But without knowing what each meaningful molecule looks like, that light is indecipherable. That's why my work is crucial if we want to understand alien worlds, and eventually detect a new Earth."

(Image: MIT)

Website
clarasousasilva.com
Lectures

11.17.2017

BostonTalks: Space