BS, Rice University | Advisor: Ted Bergin
Physical and chemical properties of protoplanetary disks
Planets form from expansive circumstellar disks around young stars, a continuously evolving environment rich in gas, dust, and ices. By studying molecular emission from these disks, one can piece together what chemically and physically sets the stage for the formation of planetary systems like our own. Using sophisticated protoplanetary disk models, Ilse Cleeves seeks unique molecular signatures that can provide insight into the physical conditions present, such as the degree of ionization, the chemical composition, and other important properties for the formation of planetesimals. Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory and the Submillimeter Array, Cleeves aims to understand the underlying physics and, coupled with the models, make observable predictions for the forthcoming era of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, which will push observations of molecular emission in disks into unprecedentedly high resolution and sensitivity.
Ice chemistry on grain surfaces, disk magnetic topology, ionization processes, protoplanets.
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