The goal of this project is to obtain a global and precise description of turbulence in protoplanetary discs.
Protoplanetary discs are made of gas and dust orbiting around a young star. Among other things, we think discs are the birth place of planets. From the lifetime of these objects, we know that protoplanetary discs are accreting, i.e. matter is slowly ``falling'' on the central star. However, in order to explain the accretion of matter, astrophysicists have to assume that discs are turbulent. The way turbulence is sustained in these objects is still strongly debated. However, the magnetorotational instability is one of the most promising candidates to explain the anomalous transport observed in discs. The plasma in protoplanetary discs is known to be weakly ionised. Detailed calculations have shown that in such plasmas, a nonideal MHD effect known as the Hall effect should be dominant.
The HallDiscs project will tackle the complex problem of MHD turbulence in a realistic model of accretion disc dominated by the Hall effect. It will in particular evaluate the importance of the Hall effect in the nonlinear regime of the MRI, where developed turbulence is found. This is of particular importance as this nonideal MHD effect can create new instabilities which could dramatically modify our vision of protoplanetary discs turbulence. This proposal relies on the use of a very efficient and highly accurate spectral MHD code to perform Hall-MHD numerical simulations. The HallDiscs project will provide unprecedented constrains on the properties of MHD turbulence in discs, the conditions associated with jet launching from discs and the initial stages of planet formation. Furthermore, this project offers a unique opportunity to bring back to IPAG the expertise in numerical MHD I have gained during my postdoctoral experience in Cambridge.
Call for proposal
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