Institute for Advanced Study / Princeton University Joint Astrophysics Colloquium

Protoplanetary Disk Structure and Young Planet Population

Recent ground based observations at various wavelengths reveal a variety of protoplanetary disk structures. These disk structures may help us to constrain the planet formation process. I will first discuss how to apply the planet-disk interaction theory to substructures in the ALMA DSHARP sample to reveal the potential young planet population. We find that the occurrence rate for >5 M J planets beyond 5-10 au is consistent with direct imaging constraints. Disk substructures allow us to probe a wide-orbit planet population (Neptune to Jupiter mass planets beyond 10 au) that is not accessible to other planet searching techniques. On the other hand, ALMA surveys have suggested that the dust in Class II disks may not be enough to explain the averaged solid mass in exoplanets, under the assumption that the mm disk continuum emission is optically thin. I will question this optically thin scenario and point out that dust scattering can considerably reduce the emission from an optically thick region. This optically thick disk scenario can solve several puzzles in protoplanetary disk observations and can provide enough dust to form exoplanets. Finally, I will talk about my ongoing work on 3-D radiation hydrodynamical simulations of forming Jupiter’s convective envelope.

Date & Time

April 06, 2021 | 11:00am – 12:00pm


Virtual Meeting


Zhaohuan Zhu

Speaker Affiliation

University of Nevada, Las Vegas