Magnetohydrodynamical models of dust in proto-planetary accretion disks

Magnetorotational turbulence plays an important role in the formation of planets. It is diffusing small grains and concentrating larger objects in turbulent features.

Instabilities in protoplanetary accretion discs can lead to formation of planets. To understand whether the conditions favor this, one often needs to apply a mixture of analytics and numerics.

It generates collisions among the particles that will lead to growth or destruction. Our detailed three dimensional models of magneto rotational turbulence are the key to understand the formation of kilometer sized objects called planetesimals, the building bricks of the earth, the solar system and any exoplanet out in the galaxy.

Precise task

Based on existing models using the magnetohydrodynamical code "Pencil Code", numerical experiments have to be conducted on our 256 processor machine to study the interaction between particles and turbulence in detail. The results will be generated as animated movies as well as statistical properties of the physical processes involved that can be used in the modeling of astronomical observations.


Theoretical astrophysics, theory of planet formation, magnetohydrodynamics, accretion disks, etc.


Some programming skills (e.g. Fortran 90) are beneficial as well as basic knowledge of hydrodynamics.

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