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Building the next generation of planet formation models: protoplanetary disks, internal structure, and formation of planetary systems

Objective

The discovery of extra-solar planetary systems with properties so different from those of our own Solar System has overturned our theoretical understanding of how planets and planetary systems form. Indeed, planet formation models have to link observations of two classes of objects: Protoplanetary disk, whose structure and early evolution provide the initial conditions of planets formation, and actual detected planets. The observational knowledge of these two classes of objects will see in the near future dramatic improvements, with three major breakthroughs: 1) high angular resolution observations will tightly constrain the structure and early evolution of protoplanetary disks, 2) direct observation of extrasolar planets will allow to understand their internal structure as well as their formation process, and 3) detection of very low mass extrasolar planets will constrain the mass function of planets and planetary systems, down to the terrestrial planet regime The goal of this project is to develop a theoretical understanding of planet formation that quantitatively stands up to these observational confrontations. For this, we will build on the basis of first generation planet formation models developed at the time the PI was assistant at the Physikalisches Institute of the University of Berne. The PI, a PhD student, and a Postdoc will conduct three inter-related sub-projects linked to the three breakthroughs mentioned above: A) improving the disk part of planet formation models, B) determining the internal structure of forming planets, including the effects of accretion shocks and envelope pollution by infalling planetesimals, and calculating their early evolution, and C) building planetary system formation models, including both gas giant and low mass rocky planets.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/planets/exoplanetology
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/environmental sciences/pollution
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/planets

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITAET BERN
Address
Hochschulstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Switzerland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 395 323
Principal investigator
Yann Alibert (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Maddalena Tognola (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITAET BERN
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 395 323
Address
Hochschulstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Yann Alibert (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Maddalena Tognola (Ms.)