Planet formation by gravitational instabilities

Research Group: 
Astronomy Unit
Full-time Project: 
QM Scholarship
Project Description: 
Planets form in discs of gas and dust around young stars. When such a disc is massive enough and cold enough, it will be gravitationally unstable. The non-linear outcome of this instability can lead to fragmentation of the disc and the formation of giant planets. Under what conditions this can happen exactly is the subject of much discussion. In this project, three-dimensional numerical simulations of gaseous discs will be used to shed light on this matter.
SPA Academics: 
Sijme-Jan Paardekooper