Sofia Savvidou

Sofis Savvidou  (Greece)

savvidou @

Thermal structures of protoplanetary discs

The thermal structure of protoplanetary discs is regulated by their dust content and the opacity that dust grains provide. Therefore it is important to investigate the effect grain growth has on the disc structure.
We use hydrodynamical simulations coupled to a new opacity model that calculates the opacity as a function of temperature for a dust population taking into account the particle size, composition and abundance. We compare simulations utilizing single grain sizes to two different multi-grain size distributions at dfferent levels of turbulence strengths, parameterized through the alpha viscosity. In the first grain size distribution, the number density follows an MRN power-law, while the second begins with the same mass distribution, but takes into consideration the relative velocities for particles of different sizes and gives different slopes for the mass distribution depending on the particle sizes and their aerodynamical properties. Moreover, we will study the extend to which stellar irradiation infuences the disc and how radial dust drift changes the size distribution.
We aim to then use the aforementioned simulations to study how the thermal structure of protoplanetary discs affects planetesimal formation, for example through the location of the iceline, explore the implications of these new disc structures on planet migration and ultimately compare them with observations.

Supervisor:      Bertram Bitsch  (MPIA)

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