Ubiquity of Planets and Diversity of Planetary Systems: Origin and destiny of multiple super Earths and gas giants

Lecar Prize Lecture
May 22, 2014
UC Santa Cruz

Planetary astrophysics is the most rapidly advancing field in the world-wide astronomical community today. Planetary census suggest that planetary mass-period distribution is a function of the mass and metallicity of their host stars. The diverse and intriguing kinematic properties of multiple planetary systems are likely to be the byproducts of both the structure of their cradles and the long-term evolution of these dynamical systems. The game-changing influx of data from exoplanet surveys and characterization of protostellar disks have revitalized intense efforts to understand the formation and evolution of extra solar planets and their implications on the origin of the Solar system. I will discuss some recent paradigm shifts in theory of planet formation and their compatibility with the latest observations. The topics to be discussed include physical barriers in the planet building process, the role of migration in their evolving natal disks, planets' interaction with each other and with their host stars.