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Gravitational Instabilities in Protoplanetary Discs: A Vanishing Act

Sahl Rowther
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
University of Leicester England
Physics Auditorium (2020) and Zoom
Departmental Colloquium

In their youth, protoplanetary discs are expected to be massive and self-gravitating, which results in non-axisymmetric spiral structures. However recent observations of young protoplanetary discs with ALMA have revealed that discs with large-scale spiral structure are rarely observed in the midplane. Instead, axisymmetric discs with some also having ring & gap structures are more commonly observed. In the first part of the talk I will present our results of planet-disc interactions in gravitationally unstable (GI) discs. In the second half I will show our recent results of warped GI discs. Consideration of complex processes such as these has important implications on observations of protoplanetary as it shows how evolution of GI discs can be altered, potentially resolving the discrepancy between theory and observations.

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