Di, 08.03.2022 16:15

Colloquium: Physico-chemical processes in planet-forming disks

TUG/KFU Physics Colloquium Summer 2022

Planets form in so-called protoplanetary disks. These are astrophysical objects where the remaining masses of gas and dust after star formation keep on rotating around the new-born star for a few million years. On this timescale, we believe that micron-sized dust particles collide with each other to form larger solid bodies of ever increasing size, finally also attracting the gas via gravitational forces, which eventually creates new rocky planets and gas giants. The observation of these systems is hence crucial for our understanding of the formation of planets, and an important step toward the creation of life.

In this talk, IWF group leader Peter Woitke will demonstrate some basic principles of the modelling of these astronomical objects, such as the solution of astrochemical rate networks to find the molecular composition, and the solution of the non-LTE heating and cooling balance to determine the temperature in the disk. The simulation results are then used to predict a large suite of different observations, which can be compared to the observational data, for example continuum fluxes and images, high-resolution molecular line velocity profiles, and low-resolution infrared spectra. However, each single observation can only reveal a very limited amount of information about specific properties at particular places in the disks, so it is mandatory to combine these different observations, based on the insight provided by the models, in our quest to better understand the true nature of planet-forming disks.



Peter Woitke

8. März 2022, 16.15 Uhr