Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso


  • Steven B. CharnleyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1344


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.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Solar System Exploration Division, Code 691Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA