Modeling the Evolution of the Dust Population in Protoplanetary Disks

The collision experiments in the lab and in SPH simulations (the projects B2-B5 of this Forschergruppe) teach us about the outcome of individual collisions between aggregates under well-defined initial conditions such as impact velocity, target/projectile mass etc. However, what the long term evolution is of a large ensemble of dust aggregates over millions of collisions cannot be determined through such experiments alone. The project we propose here is aimed to bring together the results of the B-projects into an empirical 'coagulation-fragmentation kernel'. We will then implement that into two different types of numerical models of grain growth/fragmentation, and investigate the long term effects of the lab results on the collisional growth of solids in a protoplanetary disk. In addition to yielding this scientific end product, it will also reveal which parts of collision parameter space are important and may need further experimentation in the lab. Feedback to the B-projects is therefore an integral part of this project. The ultimate aim is to provide a unified picture of the process of growth from sub-micron sized particles to kilometer sized planetesimals based for a large part on the results from the Forschergruppe.

Principle Investigators

Dr. Cornelis Dullemond
Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning