U-M and visiting astronomy researchers present their work and field questions. Preceded by tea and cookies in the Owl room (Dennison 845) at 3:30.
Turbulence and Reconnection in Protoplanetary Disks
In order to explain and understand the diversity of observed planetary systems, we must have a robust theory of planet formation. In order to have such a theory, we must understand the growth of interstellar dust grains from microns to kilometer-sized planetesimals within turbulent, accreting protoplanetary disks. I will discuss the aspects of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence most relevant to the growth of planetesimals. I will then present a suite of numerical experiments designed to connect the turbulence physics with protoplanetary disks. Finally, I will talk about future higher fidelity numerical simulations, future observational tests of theory, and the prospects for simulated observations.