Dust-gas interactions and the signatures of planets in discs

Research Group: 
Astronomy Unit
Full-time Project: 
Yes
Funding: 
QM Scholarship
STFC
Project Description: 
Planets form in discs of gas and dust around young stars. While the gas component dominates the mass of the disc typically by a factor 100, the dust component is much easier to observe. By looking at the dust distribution around young stars, the influence of planets may be detected through the presence of gaps, holes or spiral waves. However, the features that show up in the dust component do not necessarily reflect what is happening to the bulk of the mass, i.e. the gas. In this project, numerical simulations that take account of both the gas and the dust component of the disc will be performed and compared with the most recent observations of protoplanetary discs to infer the presence of planets around other stars.
SPA Academics: 
Sijme-Jan Paardekooper