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Gravitational instabilities in protostellar discs

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Geoffroy Lesur.

I describe recent work that clarifies the extent to which the evolution of self-gravitating discs can be can be modeled using a pseudo-viscous description, discussing the extent to which the local thermal properties of the disc can be used to predict the onset of fragmentation, the timescale of secular evolution and the amplitude of spiral modes. In particular, I shall explore how the latter affects the ability of dust to collect in short-lived spiral features and, using realistic estimates of cooling rates in protostellar discs, assess the prospects for the formation of planetesimals in the early, self-gravitating phases of disc evolution.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astro Mondays series.

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