Wednesday 20 Apr 2016Seminar: Revolution evolution and the ins and outs of protoplanetary disks

Dr Claire Davies - University of Exeter

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

Circumstellar disks, the birthplace of planetary systems, are a natural consequence of star formation. High-resolution interferometric observations of the inner and outer regions of these disks at NIR and (sub)millimetre wavelengths have started to shed light on their detailed structure and begun to unpick some of the simplistic models regarding disk evolution and, ultimately, planetary system formation. At the same time, the interaction of the star and its disk during accretion and contraction highlight the importance of studying the inner regions of disks in a star formation context.

In this talk, I will present an overview of the observational work I have been involved in during my PhD in St Andrews and post-doctoral work here in Exeter. This will be split into three sections: accretion disk regulated pre-main sequence stellar rotational evolution focusing in particular on the influence of the stellar magnetic field strength and geometry; circumstellar angular momentum evolution comparing results from archival protoplanetary disk surveys and the JCMT SONS survey of debris disks; and the nature of the inner disk rim focusing on what we can possibly learn from CHARA array observations. A discussion of the context, results, and present/future avenues of research in each section will be presented.

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