Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Steven B. Charnley
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1344-4


Radiolysis refers to the dissociation of molecules by nuclear radiation (e.g., by alpha particles = helium nuclei).

In astrochemistry, radiolysis occurs in the gas phase by interaction with cosmic rays and in the solid phase through the impact of these cosmic rays with the grain materials, particularly the ice mantles.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Alpha Particle Nuclear Radiation Helium Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Astrochemistry Laboratory, Solar System Exploration Division, Code 691NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 699GreenbeltUSA