The dispersal of Protoplanetary Discs

Seminar Date: 
29 Nov 2012 - 10:00 to 11:00
Speaker: 
Barbara Ercolano
Universitätssternwarte München / Excellence Cluster Universe, Garching

Protoplanetary discs are a natural consequence of the star formation process and as such are ubiquitous around low-mass stars. They are fundamental objects to understand the planet formation process as they hold the reservoir of material from which planets form.
Their evolution and final dispersal and the timescales that regulate these process are therefore of particular interest. In this talk I will review the observational evidence for the dispersal of discs being dominated by two timescales and for the final dispersal to occur quickly and from the inside out. I will then discuss how X-ray photoevaporation provides a natural explanation to the observed behaviour and review supporting and contrasting evidence. I will finally introduce a new mechanism based on the interaction between planet formation and photoevaporation that may explain a particular class of transition discs that are problematic for photoevaporation models alone.