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Brown dwarfs and their disks: new results and old problems

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Simon Hodgkin.

Brown dwarfs and very low mass objects are found in large numbers in star forming regions. They are usually associated with circumstellar accretion disks, which appear to be scaled-down versions of the disks associated with stellar mass objects. However, the idea that the same formation mechanism (i.e., core gravitational collapse) applies to all objects down to a few Jupiter mass is dubious, and a number of alternative possibilities have been put forward over the years. Similarly, the evolution of brown dwarf disks to form planetesimal and planets poses a number of challenges to our theoretical understanding of these processes.

In this talk, I will review new Herschel and Alma observations and their implications for both the brown dwarf formation mechanism and the subsequent disk evolution.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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