A multi-wavelength analysis for interferometric (sub-)mm observations of protoplanetary disks: radial constraints on the dust properties and the disk structure
Observations at mm- and sub-mm wavelengths allow us to probe the solids in the disk midplane, where the bulk of the dust is located and where planets are expected to form. The distribution of dust grain size in different regions of a protoplanetary disk is a powerful probe of the physical mechanisms related to grain growth and ultimately on how solids can overcome the various growth barriers on the way to form planetesimals and planetary cores. The upgraded VLA (JVLA) and, especially, the ALMA observatories provide now powerful tools to resolve grain growth in disks, but they also provide huge datasets that require new and more efficient methods of data analysis.
In my contribution (Tazzari et al., in prep), I will present a novel approach that enables us to infer the radial distribution of dust properties in protoplanetary disks by fitting (sub-)mm interferometric observations at several different wavelengths. 1) I will illustrate the results of applying this new method to a sample of young protoplanetary disks. 2) I will discuss the advantages of this self-consistent multi-wavelength analysis that allows us to constrain simultaneously the properties of the dust and the disk, e.g. the radial distribution of the dust grain size and the disk surface density. 3) I will demonstrate how this fast multi-wavelength analysis will allow for the first time to study the radial distribution of dust grain properties on statistically relevant samples of disks.