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Title: Transitional disks and planets : dust as a tracer of planetary systems
Author: Dobinson, Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 3386
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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Newly formed planetary systems are very challenging to observe with traditional methods. The dusty environment around young planet-hosting star systems either reduces the sensitivity of measurements (requiring a longer integration time) or renders techniques such as transit observations impossible. Therefore, this thesis aims to determine a set of markers that , if present in a system, increase the likelihood that said system is hosting a young planet. Using these markers to target observations towards promising candidates only, the best use of instrumentation can be made, and the probability of a positive detection increased. In this work N-body simulations of planetesimal disks were conducted, the creation of collisional second generation dust is modelled in two different ways (statistically and directly), and observability studies are performed for each case. Of the two different sets of simulations presented, each consists of a control simulation (only planetesimals) and the main simulations (a planetesimal disk with an embedded Jupiter mass planet). A model for the velocity field of fragments from collisions between planetesimals was also constructed. Synthetic images of the direct set of numerical simulations show a bright double-ring structure in the case of a low eccentricity planet , whereas a high eccentricity planet would produce a characteristic inner ring with accompanying disk asymmetries when compared to the control cases. The statistical simulations also show a double ring for a low eccentricity planet and disk asymmetries for a high eccentricity planet, but no inner ring is observed in the eccentric case. The strongest marker we can establish is a bright double ring, which would indicate the presence of a low eccentricity planet. In a system where primordial dust has been depleted by an order of magnitude with respect to a protoplanetary disk (i.e. a transitional disk) , observations with ALMA would be able to detect the structure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available