Planet Population Synthesis

Planet Population Synthesis is a statistical approach to study the conditions necessary for planet formation and evolution. We utilize the Bern model of planet formation and evolution (Alibert et al. 2013) within a population synthesis framework (Mordasini et al. 2009) to improve our understanding of key processes in planet formation, creating testable predictions in the process.

Members working on this project

Example spectrum for a well-studied exoplanet.

In order to dentify atomic and molecular features, as well as signatures of pressure-temperature structures in exoplanetary atmospheres, I am constructing a self-consistent radiation-transport-code. This code will given a certain atomic composition, calculate molecular abundances based on the NASA equilibrium-chemistry solver CEA, and then self-consistently modell the atmospheric energy transfer line-by-line.

Wind structures are important for some bloating mechanisms to work. As sideproduct from my calculations we get heat and wind maps at any pressure-level in the planetary atmosphere.
We see here mildly nonlinear Kelvin and Rossby waves in interaction as solutions to the primitive atmospheric dynamics equations.

Matthäus Schulik - Evolution of Hot Jupiter exoplanets considering ohmic inflation (M.Sc. Project) My project adresses the radius anomaly for Hot Jupiter exoplanets. I am implementing the proposed and debated Ohmic dissipation mechanism in those giant exoplanets to explain their too big radii at ages of several Gyr. To do this I use

  • Chemical equilibrium calculations to obtain ionization fractions
  • A stacked-layer shallow water modell for the atmospheric dynamics and heat distribution
  • Christoph Mordasinis planetary evolution code to have an idea about the impact of atmospheric dynamics on evolution

Using those tools I estimate how much stellar irradiation is transported into the convective interior of the Gas Giant, which can inflate its radius significantly.

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