Large Total Masses of Protoplanetary Disks

Nov 10, 2020 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Diana Powell (UC Santa Cruz) via zoom

The total mass in protoplanetary disks is a critical initial condition for understanding planet formation. Several recent studies show that the standard assumptions used to empirically determine disk mass are likely incorrect. I will report on our new set of models that reconcile theory with observations of protoplanetary disks and create a new set of initial conditions for planet formation models. This modeling makes use of recent resolved multiwavelength observations of disks in the millimeter to constrain the aerodynamic properties of dust grains, allowing us to infer total disk mass without an assumed dust opacity or tracer-to-H2 ratio. The 7 disks modeled using this method thus far are close to the limit of gravitational stability at certain radii and raise the possibility that all disks are more massive than has been previously appreciated.