Tuesday, April 19, 2016
4:00 pm
South Mudd 365

Planetary Science Seminar

Evolution of Circumstellar Disks and Planet Formation
Wladimir Lyra, Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University at Northridge
 During the first million years of evolution, nascent planetary systems are
 embedded in dense disk-shaped clouds of gas. These circumstellar disks are
 home to a myriad of hydrodynamical processes, which bring about turbulence
 and the emergence of viscous-like behavior, enabling accretion of gas onto
 the protostar. Meanwhile, micron-sized dust grains embedded in the disk
 are growing through coagulation onto pebbles and rocks. Turbulence has a
 positive effect on these small solids, concentrating them into transient
 high pressure regions for long enough to achieve gravitational collapse
 through pebble accretion into km-sized bodies, forming the first
 planetesimals. Giant storm systems in the disk, similar to Jupiter's Great
 Red Spot, may exist in quiescent zones of the disk. These are even more
 prone to collecting solid material, producing the first terrestrial
 planets and cores of giant planets. In this talk I will discuss the state
 of the art and recent advances in the field of planet formation, as well
 as pressing problems such as the structure observed in high resolution
 sub-millimeter images of circumstellar disks, and how to interpret them.
Contact Chris Spalding cspaldin@caltech.edu
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