Martin Schlecker (Germany)
schlecker @ mpia.de
Exoplanet population synthesis - formation and habitability around M dwarfs
The formation of planets in the Solar System and beyond requires growth across more than 45 orders of magnitude in mass. Because of this tremendous range and the complexity of the involved processes, we cannot achieve a satisfying understanding of planet formation from fundamental physical models that are only applicable in particular domains.
Planet Population Synthesis is an indirect approach to study the conditions necessary for planet formation and evolution. It compares the properties of observed exoplanets, e.g. mass and orbital radius, to the ones obtained from planet formation simulations. This technique is particularly promising if one has access to an observational data set with a well-known detection bias that one can take into account when comparing observations with theory.
My observational data come from the new CARMENES survey, which searches for Earth-mass planets around nearby M-dwarf stars. In my PhD project, I use parametrized models of planet formation and evolution in protoplanetary disks to produce synthetic populations of planets. By calibrating these simulations to the CARMENES exoplanet populations, we can improve our understanding of key processes such as the growth of planetesimals and their migration behavior.
Supervisor: Hubert Klahr & Thomas Henning (MPIA)