ITC Seminar - Diana Powell (UCSC)


Monday, November 4, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Using Dust Grain Aerodynamics to Weigh Protoplanetary Disks

The total mass available in protoplanetary disks is a critical initial condition for understanding planet formation, however, the surface densities of protoplanetary disks still remain largely unconstrained due to uncertainties in the dust-to-gas ratio and CO abundance. In particular, several recent studies show that the standard assumptions for both of these quantities are likely incorrect. In this talk, I will report on our new set of models that reconcile theory with observations of protoplanetary disks and create a new set of initial conditions for planet formation models. This modeling makes use of recent resolved multiwavelength observations of disks in the millimeter to constrain the aerodynamic properties of dust grains, allowing us to infer total disk mass without an assumed dust opacity or tracer-to-H2 ratio. The 7 disks modeled using this method thus far are close to the limit of gravitational stability at certain radii and raise the possibility that all disks are more massive than has been previously appreciated.
See also: Seminars, 2019 - 20