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Focusing on the organic inventory of regions of star and planet formation in the interstellar medium of galaxies, this comprehensive overview of the molecular universe is an invaluable reference source for advanced undergraduates through to entry-level researchers. It includes an extensive discussion of microscopic physical and chemical processes in the universe; these play a role in the excitation, spectral characteristics, formation, and evolution of molecules in the gas phase and on grain surfaces. In addition, the latest developments in this area of molecular astrophysics provide a firm foundation for an in-depth understanding of the molecular phases of the interstellar medium. The physical and chemical properties of gaseous molecules, mixed molecular ices, and large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules and fullerenes and their role in the interstellar medium are highlighted. For those with an interest in the molecular universe, this advanced textbook bridges the gap between molecular physics, astronomy, and physical chemistry.