University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > DAMTP Astro Mondays > The effects of companions on the dynamics of protostellar discs — the evolution of disc eccentricity

The effects of companions on the dynamics of protostellar discs — the evolution of disc eccentricity

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Callum William Fairbairn.

Systems where two gravitationally bound masses (the primary mass and its companion) interact with the surrounding gas and dust are extremely common in the Universe and involve a wide variety of different astrophysical objects (star-star, black hole-black hole, star-planet, or planet-moon). The material in the surroundings of binaries is generally found in a disc structure, called “circumbinary disc”, where the companion perturbative effects produce a variety of features such as: spirals, non-axisymmetric overdensities, dust/gas cavities and the evolution of the disc eccentricity. The great advancements during the past decade in our observational capabilities allowed us for the first time to observe such features in protostellar discs, triggering extensive theoretical work aimed at interpreting the data. In this talk, after a general overview of binary-disc interaction theory, I will present the ongoing efforts to model the morphology and kinematics of protostellar discs when companions (planet or stellar binaries) are present. I will discuss the current progress and highlight some open issues that still require to be addressed. In particular, I will focus on the mutual evolution of binary/planet and disc eccentricity. I will present numerical simulations and novel results in this context showing that the tidal truncation efficiency of binaries appears to increase in eccentric discs. I will discuss the possible relevance of this effect for interpreting the observations of protostellar discs with cavities. I will finally spend a few words about the importance of bridging the gap between theory and observations by providing the observational community with ready to use theoretical results in the form of synthetic observations.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astro Mondays series.

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