A sufficiently massive planet will induce spiral arms, gap formation, migration and accretion shocks in his surrounding disk. We attempt to understand how all those processes backreact onto planetary formation and disk evolution.
Dr. Aiara Lobo Gomes - Migration due to interaction with spiral arms (Former PhD project)
"Planets are formed in the discs of young stars, they interact with the circumstellar disc and can survive until the latter has evaporated. It is of major importance to understand the interplay between planets and their parental discs to explain the variety of exoplanets observed and to constrain planet formation theories.
The goal of this project is to study several aspects of planet-disc interactions when considering non-isothermal discs. For that purpose we carry out (radiative-)hydrodynamical simulations of planet-disc interactions using the PLUTO code."
In order to link planetary population synthesis modells with observations, evolution calculations for single planets are needed. This is obvious as no planet is observed at an age of zero. We use atmospheric and structure modells planets, as well as atmospheric loss and bloating mechanisms for giant and rocky planets to develop our understanding of planetary populations.
The amplification or dampening of hydrodynamically instable features may be modified by the presence of dust. Also the dynamics of dust will surely follow pressure maxima in a protoplanetary disc. Therefore there is ample potential for complex interactions between the gas and dust material which we aim to study.
Hydrodynamic instabilities may lead to vortex formation and thus initiate dust concentration in the inner Protoplanetary disk (<100Au) or lead to direct gravitational collapse and giant planet collapse in the outer disk. We investigate various scenarios for the stability and involved timescales of those features in shearing boxes, global 2D and 3D simulations.
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.
Over a period of 6 years, DFG is funding research projects within its SPP framework (DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm) "Building a Habitable Earth". The SPP will contribute to the still open question how Earth became the only known habitable planet.
Streaming instabilities are a result of sufficient dust densities and large relative flow velocities between dust and gas. This instability itself produces the turbulence that makes it possible to clump dust sufficiently together in order to become self-gravitating and thus overcome the meter-barrier in planet formation. This mechanism is thus of significant interest for the scientific community.