Astronomy Colloquium — Jake Simon

This event has passed.

4421 Sterling Hall
@ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Speaker: Jake Simon

Jake Simon is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy (2010) at the University of Virginia, and his B.S. in Physics (2004) at the University of Illinois.  Before arriving at ISU, he served in several postdoctoral (including a NASA Sagan Fellowship) and research associate positions at the University of Colorado and the Southwest Research Institute.  His research is focused on a number of topics related to the earliest stages of planet formation, and he is also interested in how hot, ionized gas orbits and accretes onto black holes.

Title: Building Planetary Systems: The Formation of Planetesimals

Abstract: Planetesimals are small rocky (and sometimes icy) objects, typically 1-100 km in diameter (e.g., asteroids and comets in the Solar System). One of the largest unanswered questions in all of planetary astrophysics is: how do these planetesimals form in the disks that orbit young, newly forming stars (“circumstellar disks”)?  In this talk, I will discuss my group’s research projects devoted to answering this important question. I will first provide an overview of planet formation and describe how planetesimals are an integral step in the planet formation process. I will then discuss the progress my group has made in understanding planetesimal formation with theoretical and computational models. In particular, by using computational fluid and particle dynamics, run on large-scale supercomputing facilities, we are working towards understanding under what conditions and in what locations planetesimals can or cannot form in circumstellar disks. I will conclude with a set of future goals to connect what we have learned so far to the larger picture of planet formation.

Field: Planet formation

Institution: Iowa State University

Tea & cookies start at 3:15 PM. Zoom option available here.