Ubiquity of planets and diversity of planetary systems: Origin and Destiny of multiple super Earths and gas giants.

Speaker: 
Douglas NC Lin, University of California, Santa Cruz
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2014-10-23 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Harvey Richer
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate
Planetary astrophysics is the most rapidly advancing field in the astronomical community today. A census suggests that planets are common and their mass- period distribution is a function of the mass and metallicity of their host stars. The diverse and intriguing kinematic properties of multiple planetary systems are likely to be the direct consequence of both the boundary condition of their natal disks and the long-term evolution of nonlinear dynamical systems. I will show how the emergence of super-Earths is a robust process whereas the formation of gas giant planets is a threshold phenomena. The topics to be discussed include physical barriers in the planet building process, the role of migration in their evolving natal disks, planets' interaction with each other and with their host stars. I will also discuss some key observations which may provide quantitative tests for planet formation theories and new clues on the dynamical evolution and internal structure of planets.
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