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Formation of Planetary Systems

Convenor: Richard Alexander

Module Code: AS8

Duration (Hours): 5 two hourly sessions

Start Date and Commitments


Module Details

This module aims to give students a broad overview of how planets form. We will primarily consider planet formation from an astrophysical perspective (rather than a planetary science or cosmochemistry approach), and the course will cover both observational and theoretical research into planets and their origins. We will review observations of both the Solar System and exoplanets, and discuss observations and models of the structure and evolution of protoplanetary discs (which are the sites of planet formation). We will then consider the dynamics of solid bodies, and discuss how sub-micron-sized dust grains grow to form larger bodies. From this point our theory of planet formation remains incomplete, but we will discuss and critique the leading models for both terrestrial and giant planet formation. Finally we will discuss planet migration and the dynamics of young planetary systems, and how these processes shape the architectures of planetary systems.