Giant Planets in Dusty Disks: How Solids Affect Planet Formation

Sally Dodson-Robinson, University of Delaware

Giant planet formation begins with the formation of a solid core that grows to 10 Earth masses or more. The mass of dust in the protostellar disk controls the chances of accreting a 10 Earth-mass core, while the opacity due to dust in the protoplanetary envelope determines whether or not the core triggers hydrodynamic gas accretion, allowing the planet to reach Jupiter's mass. I will begin by demonstrating the importance of silicon in assembling the dust mass necessary for planet formation. I will then show how photophoresis--the migration of dust grains in the direction of light flux--can reduce opacity in the protoplanetary atmosphere, increasing the likelihood of giant planet formation.