The Long Way From Dust to Planetesimals - Evolution of Solids in Disks around Young Stars
Solids in planet forming disks are inherited from the interstellar medium: dust particles at most a micrometer in size. Circumstellar disks are the environments where these particles need to grow at least 40 orders of magnitude in mass. Our understanding of this growth process is far from complete, with different physics seemingly posing obstacles at various stages along the way. Still, the ubiquity of planets in our galaxy suggests that planet formation is a robust mechanism.
This talk focuses on the early stages of planet formation, the growth of small dust grains towards the gravitationally bound “planetesimals”, the building blocks of planets. I will introduce the key physics involved in the growth processes and discuss how they are expected to shape the global behavior of the solid content of disks. I will discuss how these effects are substantially affecting the further evolution of both the disk and the planets that form in them and will conclude by reviewing some of the recent and ongoing observational advances in the field that foreshadow an exciting future of the field of planet formation and its chemistry.