Formation of giant planets from large planetesimals
Recent numerical simulations show that large, Ceres sized planetesimals might form very rapidly in protoplanetary disks. In this work we want to explore the consequences of these findings on the formation of (extrasolar) giant planets.
An core accretion formation model is adapted to study the case of such massive planetesimals as building blocks for (giant) planets and the consequences are compared with the population of known extrasolar planets. A possible extension of the project would be to explicitly follow the trajectories of the massive planetesimals in the nebula under the influence of solar gravity, gravity from the protoplanet and nebular gas, using them as super-particles to calculate directly the growth rate of the protoplanet.
Theoretical astrophysics, planet formation, gravity, population synthesis, extrasolar planets.
Interest in work with computer programs, numerical simulations, code writing. Existing programming skills, especially in Fortran, are beneficial.