Colloquium: From Cosmic Dust to Planetesimals: Models vs. Observations

Paola Pinilla, University of Arizona
Friday, September 8, 2017 - 3:00pm
PAS 220

In this new era of powerful telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, we are now able to study the birth of planets in disks around young stars, in more detail than ever before. These new observations are revealing fascinating structures in protoplanetary disks that are transforming our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In this colloquium, I will explain theoretical models of dust evolution in protoplanetary disks, in particular the dynamics and growth from cosmic dust to planetesimals. I will compare these theoretical predictions with current multi-wavelength observations of protoplanetary disks. This link is providing significant insights about how different physical conditions play a crucial role in the formation of planetesimals, and is extending our understanding of how initial conditions of protoplanetary disks are reflected in the large diversity of extrasolar systems observed up today.