The Chemistry of Planet Formation

Speaker: 
Karin Oberg (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-01-18 15:30 - 16:30
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

Planets form from dust and gas in disks around young stars. The chemical composition and structures of these disks regulate planet formation efficiencies, bulk planet compositions (including their C/O ratio), and the volatile and organic content of nascent planets. Understanding disk chemical structures and inventories is therefore key to constrain planet formation and planet habitability. In the age of ALMA we can observe this chemistry on Solar System scales and the results are spectacular. Recent highlights include observations of snowlines, intricate chemical ring structures that trace temperature- and radiation-regulated isotopologue chemistry, and the detection of the first complex organic molecule in a disk. I will discuss these new findings in light of Solar System observations, laboratory experiments on ice chemistry and physics, and theoretical studies on the chemistry and dynamics of volatiles in planet-forming disks.

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