Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 2B075

gadgetbelt: A Tool for Modeling Planetary Sculpting of Massive Debris Disks

Dawson, Rebekah (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Murray-Clay, Ruth (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Abstract:
In models of the sculpting of planetesimal disks by planets, the planetesimals are often treated as test particles, with their effect on the planet modeled analytically. However, this treatment is insufficient in certain regimes, including: when the self-gravity of the disk causes density waves, transporting the angular momentum imparted or removed by the planet (e.g. Hahn 2003); when the self-gravity of the disk causes the disk to precess, interfering with the resonant and secular effects of the planet on the disk; and/or when interaction of the planet with individual planetesimals causes stochasticity in the planetís orbital evolution (e.g.,Murray-Clay & Chiang 2006), not well captured by prescriptions of the planetesimal-induced orbital evolution. We are adapting gadget (Springel 2005), a cosmological simulation code, for use in collisionless debris disks, allowing us to model thousands to millions of planetesimals in a reasonable CPU time through gains in speed from gadgetís parallel processing implementation and tree code for N-body interactions. We will use this code, gadgetbelt, to explore regimes in which the planetesimal diskís self-gravity and/or back-reaction on the planet cannot be neglected and to explore the effects of stochasticity, which may lead to constraints on the planetesimal size-distribution. Here we present results from our benchmarking of gadgetbelt to the full N-body integrator mercury (Chambers 1999) and plans for future work.

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