University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Sigma Pi Sigma Colloquium

Friday, April 29, 2016
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-38

Dr. Sean Andrews, Harvard Smithsonian Institute

“The Observational Signatures of Planet Formation”

The canonical model for the formation of Earth-like planets and giant planet cores relies on an early and very efficient phase of planetesimal growth in a gas-rich circumstellar disk. But, as theorists have known for decades now, there are some formidable obstacles to meeting that requirement. Many of these problems, and potentially their solutions, are associated with the growth and migration of "pebble" (mm/cm-sized particles) in the first few million years of a disk's lifetime. That is fortuitous, since the continuum emission from these particles in nearby disks can be readily detected and resolved with long-baseline radio interferometers. I will describe what we are learning about the evolution of pre-planetary solids from such data, including: (1) the hallmarks of particle growth and migration; and (2) the mounting evidence that small-scale substructures in the (gas) disk play fundamental (and likely mandatory) roles in the planet formation process.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk, at 3:00 p.m. Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room PB-103.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

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