2021 Advanced Earth and Space Sciences B

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Okuzumi Satoshi  Nakamoto Taishi 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon5-6()  Thr5-6()  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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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 kilometer-sized solid bodies called planetesimals.

Student learning outcomes

1) Understand the physical processes governing the evolution of gas and dust in protoplanetary disks, including the solar nebula
2) Become familiar with order-of-magnitude estimates --- how to understand physics underlying complex phenomena


planet formation, protoplanetary disks, planetesimals, dust

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication 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, some studies on thermal evolution of dust particles in the solar nebula are shown as examples of real researches in this field. The second half will be given by NAKAMOTO.

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 Case Study 1: Chondrule #1 --- Observed Properties Understand the observed properties of chondrules.
Class 9 Case Study 1: Chondrule #2 --- Shock Wave Heating Model Evaluate the shock wave heating model as a chondrule formation theory.
Class 10 Case Study 1: Chondrule #3 --- Asteroid Collision Model Evaluate the asteroid collision model as a chondrule formation theory.
Class 11 Case Study 1: Chondrule #4 --- Lightning Model Evaluate the lightning model as a chondrule formation theory.
Class 12 Case Study 1: Chondrule #5 --- X-Wind Model Evaluate the X-wind model as a chondrule formation theory.
Class 13 Case Study 2: Crystalline Silicate --- Observations and Theories Understand the study of crystalline sillicate and evaluate models.
Class 14 Case Study 3: CAI --- Observations and Theories Understand the study of CAI and evaluate models.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts will be provided

Assessment criteria and methods

Grades will be based on in-class discussion and reports.

Related courses

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

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

Basic knowledge of physics, astronomy, and the solar system

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