Contribution Review talk
Astrochemical Probes From Clouds to Dense Cores
Recent continuum surveys of the Gould's Belt and the Milky Way have identified tens of thousands of dense cores and clumps within the Galaxy. It is now possible to study all phases of core, clump, and filament evolution before and during star formation with statistically significant samples of objects. Astrochemical processes on these different physical scales provide astrophysical probes of physical conditions as well as a history of evolution. I shall review the physical properties of the hierarchical structure within molecular clouds - from parsec-scale filamentary structure to dense cores - in the context of these astrophysical processes. Observations of depletion, deuteration, and the evolution of early time vs. late-time chemistry when coupled with the effective excitation densities of different molecular tracers provide crucial information on the kinematic and chemical evolution of cores, clumps, and filaments. I shall highlight the results from recent surveys that have studied these astrochemical processes within the complete dense core populations within nearby molecular clouds.