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Homework Help: Formation of molecular hydrogen in HI clouds

  1. Mar 7, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The question involves a HI could in the ISM with an observed 21-cm emission line.
    I'm asked whether formation of molecular Hydrogen is likely.

    2. Relevant equations

    Not entirely sure

    3. The attempt at a solution

    First of all, I should say that this is a thermodynamics question and not astro.

    I understand that neutral H must be abundant and that the 21-cm line is due to the energy difference in the alignment of spin. I've got figures for the average temperatures, number densities and 'simple' non-quantum mechanisms for the formation of molecular H.

    But from the vague question, I'm finding it hard to actually be able to determine the likelihood of it.

    The question suggests use of equations .. so if anyone could give me any advice at all, that'd be great.

    Thanks :)
  2. jcsd
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