Department of Physics & Astronomy Virtual Colloquium

Sep 25, 2020

2:30 pm

Virtual or Hilbun 150, 125 Hilbun Hall

Department of Physics & Astronomy Virtual Colloquium


Title:  Light beams on dust: a window into planetary systems

Abstract: My work aims to improve characterizations of the materials in developing planetary systems and regoliths of airless solar system objects using light scattering and radiative transfer models. Debris disks are generated by the collision and disruption of planetesimals analogous to asteroids and comets in our own solar system, which produces micron-sized dust grains. Understanding the composition of the material within these extrasolar systems may provide insight into the planet formation process. As debris disks are typically too cold to produce key identifying silicate spectral features in thermal emission near 10 μm, scattered light in the visible and near infrared wavelength range is important for making compositional determinations. To interpret scattered light observations of debris disks we need to model the light scattering properties of the constituent dust, which depend on grain composition, size, and structure. I will present a model that uses scattering efficiencies for realistic grain shapes to retrieve the dust grain properties of the AU Microscopii debris disk. I will also show that dust grain shape has an effect on the predicted radiation pressure blowout size in debris disks. This has implications for both disk composition and minimum expected grain size.


Lecture by: Dr. Jessica Arnold
Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism & Army Research Lab


To virtually connect, please use this BJ Meeting URL: (Google Chrome is recommended)

In-person location: Hand 1100

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