Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Physics and Astronomy
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
I examine circumbinary terrestrial planet formation in a gas free environment around various binary systems and terrestrial planet formation in a gaseous environment around M-dwarfs. While terrestrial cirumbinary planets have yet to be observed, this is likely due to observational bias. Motivated by recent observations of highly misaligned circumbinary gas disks, I perform a suite of n-body studies to understand the properties of terrestrial planets around various binary systems. In a polar alignment, a circumbinary disk is inclined by 90 degrees relative to the binary orbital plane. I find that terrestrial planet formation in a polar configuration may be as efficient as in a coplanar alignment and that terrestrial planets can form only coplanar or polar to the binary, even if the initial particle disk is misaligned. These findings have implications for how to tailor future observation campaigns focused on detecting terrestrial planets. If highly misaligned terrestrial circumbinary planets are observed in the future, formation mechanisms other than core accretion in a gas free environment will need to be considered. I also consider terrestrial planet formation in a gas disk around a low mass star. In this scenario, planetary building blocks grow in size from pebble accretion and migrate inwards through type-I migration. I present a model for fragmentation, bulk composition tracking, pebble accretion, type-I migration, and eccentricity and inclination dampening to be used in n-body studies of planet formation, and use this model to study the formation of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.
Circumbinary Planets; Pebble Accretion; Planet Formation; Terrestrial Planets
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Childs, Anna C., "Terrestrial Planet Formation in M-dwarf and Binary Star Systems" (2022). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4384.
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