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Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) : a new look at an old problem

Abstract : Diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) represent a century-old mystery: none of the hundreds of bands could be identified with certainty with a specific carrier, at the very likely exception of the buckminsterfullerene cation C60+. Identifying and quantifying the amount of the large interstellar carbonaceous molecules that are very likely responsible for the DIBs is mandatory: DIB carriers likely represent the largest amount of organic matter in the Universe and are an important piece of the chain of processes that govern the interstellar/stellar cycle.Up to recently, most of the DIB studies have had as a unique goal the identification of the carriers, and to do so have been focusing on a limited number of hot, distant and reddened stars, using increasingly powerful instruments. This thesis marks a turning point in the methods and goals associated with the DIBs, an evolution allowed and motivated by the increasing number of stellar surveys with high multiplex instruments. As a matter of fact, it is possible today to gather massive amounts of data, both from the point of view of the number of target stars and from the point of view of the number of DIBs simultaneously observed. This has opened the way to new types of studies, more ambitious goals, and, importantly, new potential comparisons with laboratory data. This thesis presents a large number of DIB extractions and four of these novel analyses :- Methods of extraction and search for new DIBs.- Statistical studies of the link between DIB strengths and the physical properties of their hosting clouds.- Tomographic studies of the carriers on large and small spatial scales.- Line profile extractions based on carefully selected sightlines, studies of their substructures and spatial variability and subsequent constraints on their potential molecular carriers.
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Meriem El Yajouri. Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) : a new look at an old problem. Astrophysics [astro-ph]. Université Paris sciences et lettres, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018PSLEO017⟩. ⟨tel-02122950⟩

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