Gaps, Rings, Spirals, and Vortices: Structure Formation in Planet-Forming Disks

4 - 29 October 2021

Til Birnstiel, Myriam Benisty, Anna Miotello, Cornelis Dullemond, Jonathan Williams

Planets are formed inside the ubiquitous disks found around young stars. The unprecedented resolution and sensitivity of ALMA and high contrast infrared imagers have revealed spectacular features, such as gaps, rings, spirals, and vortices. It is now clear that disks are much more complex, dynamic objects than previously thought and a full explanation of the richness and diversity of features presents a formidable challenge to modelers.

This MIAPP program will bring together theorists and observers of circumstellar disks to join forces to decipher these observations and find new ways to probe the processes that drive disk evolution. The program format emphasizes time for discussions and collaborative work with a small number of focused presentations intended to foster interactions.

The main overarching questions to be addressed include:

  • What are the origins of the complex structures in disks (inner cavities, spirals, vortices, rings, shadows, warps, gas/dust segregation, possible planetary companions, etc.)? What is the relation between the structures seen in dust and in gas emission?
  • What do these features, together with kinematical signatures, teach us about the physics of circumstellar disks and processes of planet formation taking place in these disks?
  • How are the observed features related to the (still unknown) angular momentum transport in disks or to the initial conditions inherited from the star formation process?
  • How do disks form and grow? When do structures begin to form and how do they evolve?