2019 Advanced Earth and Space Sciences B

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Okuzumi Satoshi  Sato Bunei  Nakamoto Taishi 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(石実1-103, Ishikawadai Bldg. 2, (Laboratory Bldg.)103 room)  Fri7-8(石実1-103, Ishikawadai Bldg. 2, (Laboratory Bldg.)103 room)  
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Academic year
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Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course deals with the physics of gas and dust evolution in protoplanetary disks. Protoplanetary disks are gas disks surrounding young stars, and the solids in the disks are the building blocks of planets and other solid bodies. We will learn how micron-sized dust particles form (and do not form) kilometer-sized solid bodies called planetesimals.

Student learning outcomes

1) Understand the physical processes governing the evolution of gas and dust protoplanetary disks
2) Become familiar with order-of-magnitude estimates --- how to understand physics underlying complex phenomena
3) Improve your skills in critically reading scientific papers


planet formation, protoplanetary disks, planetesimals, dust

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lectures will be given in the first half of the course. In the second half, students will present papers on related topics.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction Understand the basic concepts of protoplanetary disks and planetesimals
Class 2 Protoplanetary disks #1: Structure Understand the structure of disks around young stars
Class 3 Protoplanetary disks #2: Dynamics Understand how protoplanetary disks evolves
Class 4 Particle motion in protoplanetary disks Understand how dust particles move in gas disks
Class 5 Dust aggregates Understand how small grains stick together and form macroscopic bodies
Class 6 Planetesimal formation Understand how micron-sized dust grains form (and do not form) kilometer-sized solid bodies
Class 7 Snow lines Understand the concept of snow lines and how they affect planet formation
Class 8 Presentation #1 Read papers on protoplanetary disk structure
Class 9 Presentation #2 Read papers on protoplanetary disk dynamics
Class 10 Presentation #3 Read papers on particle dynamics in protoplanetary disks
Class 11 Presentation #4 Read papers on dust aggregates
Class 12 Presentation #5 Read papers on planetesimal formation
Class 13 Presentation #6 Read papers on snow lines
Class 14 Discussion #1 Discuss future directions of protoplanetary disk studies
Class 15 Discussion #2 Discuss future directions of planetesimal formation studies



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts will be provided

Assessment criteria and methods

Grades will be based on in-class participation and discussion (50%) and presentation (50%). Your participation and discussion grade will be determined based on your questions and comments to the instructor and presenters. Students who never ask a question in all classes will fail the course.

Related courses

  • EPS.A410 : Astrophysics and Planetary Physics A
  • EPS.A413 : Astrophysics and Planetary Physics D

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Knowledge of basic physics

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