Adriana Pohl (Germany)
pohl @ mpia.de
Radiative Transfer Modeling of Protoplanetary Disks
Thesis abstract: After the star formation process some of the residual gas and dust forms a protoplanetary disk which is supposed to be the birthplace of planetary systems. This thesis will focus on modeling structures, mainly of non-axisymmetric shape, seen in recent observations of protoplanetary disks. An emphasis will be on so-called transition disks, which are characterized by a low-density inner disk region in form of an extended gap. The radiative transfer tool RADMC-3D is used to compute synthetic observations of these disks at various wavelengths from the near-infrared to the (sub-)mm regime. In this way our simulations can be directly linked to observations of the specific objects that we want to study. Special attention will be given to the influence of different disk properties on the images and to the inclusion of various dust grain structures and sizes in our radiative transfer models. Furthermore, an important aspect will be to make predictions about the performance of new high-resolution instruments like VLT/SPHERE, VLTI/MATISSE, E-ELT/METIS and ALMA, and to explain the upcoming observational data.
Supervisors: Kees Dullemond (ITA), Thomas Henning (MPIA)