Without Dust, No Planets – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

Niels Bohr Institute > Calendar > 2008 > Without Dust, No Planets

Without Dust, No Planets

Master Thesis Colloquium by Maha Jassim


Theories about the formation of our solar system have developed two main models, the gravitational-instabibity model, acting over very short time scales, and the core-accretion model (also known as the planetesimal model), acting over long time scales.

The gravitational instability model uses hydrodynamic methods recently developed by Alan P. Boss, among others, In these models the planets are formed from the collapse of a gaseous nebula.

The core-acccretion model has been developed intensively in recent years by Ida & Linn et al. and R.R. Rafikov and others. In this model, dust is the first step in planet formation. It relies on a combination of theory and laboratory experiments with dust-collision and growth. Laboratory experiments by J. Blum, G. Wurm, T. Poppe et al., and L.O. Heim et al. have contributed to a deeper understanding of how dust may grow into planetesimals under proto-solar nebular conditions.

I will introduce the fundamental physical processes underlying both models of planetary formation, and discuss them in the context of observations of extra-solar planetary systems, and the interstallar clouds and protoplanetary disks from which they develop.

Supervisor: Uffe Gråe Jørgensen