Contribution Review talk
Tracing the chemical evolution of deeply embedded protostars: the ALMA view
Protostars in their earliest, deeply embedded, stages provide an important astrochemical laboratory, serving as the evolutionary link between dense regions in molecular clouds and the end-products in terms of the emerging protoplanetary disks. In recent years significant progress has been made on understanding the physical and chemical evolution of young stars during through stages. In particular, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, ALMA, is showing its capabilities for studies of the chemistry of solar-type stars with its high sensitivity for faint lines, high spectral resolution which limits line confusion, and high angular resolution.
In this talk I will discuss the constraints on the chemical structure of deeply embedded protostars offered by recent ALMA observations and some of the important questions emerging. For example, what is the link between the physical and chemical structure of deeply embedded protostars on solar-system scales and how is the chemical evolution of protostars affected by strong (time-dependent) variations in, e.g., the density and temperature during the infall from the parental core to the circumstellar disk?