Astrophysics Journal Club


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Astrophysics Journal Club
at McMaster University

The Astrophysics Journal Club includes graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty working in astronomy and astrophysics at McMaster University. The club meets once a week where one or two members give 25 minute talks describing a recent publication or topic of contemporary interest in the field, followed by 5 minutes of discussion. Occasionally the club also hosts talks by speakers visiting from other institutions.

Next Meeting - April 27
Speaker:Joey Rucska | Melanie Demers
Topic:Self-induced dust traps: overcoming planet formation barriers

Planet formation is thought to occur in discs around young stars by the aggregation of small dust grains into much larger objects. The growth from grains to pebbles and from planetesimals to planets is now fairly well understood. The intermediate stage has however been found to be hindered by the radial-drift and fragmentation barriers. We identify a powerful mechanism in which dust overcomes both barriers. Its key ingredients are i) backreaction from the dust onto the gas, ii) grain growth and fragmentation, and iii) large-scale gradients. The pile-up of growing and fragmenting grains modifies the gas structure on large scales and triggers the formation of pressure maxima, in which particles are trapped. We show that these self-induced dust traps are robust: they develop for a wide range of disc structures, fragmentation thresholds and initial dust-to-gas ratios. They are favored locations for pebbles to grow into planetesimals, thus opening new paths towards the formation of planets.