4-8 October 2015
Hans Harnack Haus
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Contributed Talk

Hans Harnack Haus -

Impact of dust opacities and disk shape on the physio-chemical state of protoplanetary disks


  • Dr. Peter WOITKE

Primary authors

  • Dr. Peter WOITKE (St Andrews University, School of Physics & Astronomy, KY16 9SS, St Andrews, UK)


The internal physical and chemical structure of protoplanetary disks is of fundamental importance to understand how planets form. To infer this structure from observations, new 'holistic' disk models have been developed in the frame of the EU FP7 project DIANA which include detailed 2D dust and PAH radiative transfer, thermo-chemical gas and ice modeling, and 3D diagnostic radiative transfer to consistently predict all line and continuum observations, from optical to centimeter wavelengths, based on a single model.

The dust size, opacity and disc shape parameters are found to have a strong impact on the computed temperature and chemical structure of protoplanetary disks, and hence on the predicted continuum and line observations. More evolved dust properties (larger grains) and stronger dust settling are generally found to amplify gas emission lines at optical to far-IR wavelengths, because the heating UV radiation can penetrate deeper into the disk gas in these cases.

We are proposing new dust opacities for protoplanetary disk models, which account for the properties of evolved dust, and discuss how multi-wavelength line and continuum observations can be used to infer the physio-chemical structure of protoplanetary disks.