Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1306.3672 (Dhrubaditya Mitra et al.)

Can planetesimals form by collisional fusion?    [PDF]

Dhrubaditya Mitra, J. S. Wettlaufer, Axel Brandenburg
As a test bed for the growth of protoplanetary bodies in a turbulent circumstellar disk we examine the fate of a boulder using direct numerical simulations of particle seeded gas flowing around it. We provide an accurate description of the flow by imposing no-slip and non-penetrating boundary conditions on the boulder surface using the immersed boundary method pioneered by Peskin (2002). Advected by the turbulent disk flow, the dust grains collide with the boulder and we compute the probability density function (PDF) of the normal component of the collisional velocity. Through this examination of the statistics of collisional velocities we test the recently developed concept of collisional fusion which provides a physical basis for a range of collisional velocities exhibiting perfect sticking. A boulder can then grow sufficiently rapidly to settle into a Keplerian orbit on disk evolution time scales.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3672

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