From turbulence to life: how stellar origins condition the appearance of planets and life
Oct 25, 2006
3:30PM to 4:30PM
Date(s) - 25/10/2006
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Title: From turbulence to life: how stellar origins condition the appearance of planets and life
Speaker: Dr. Ralph Pudritz
Institute: McMaster University
Location: ABB 102
Arguably the best theoretical framework that we now have for the origin of stars is that stars form as a consequence of supersonic turbulence in very dense, self-gravitating molecular gas clouds in our galaxy and others. This, I will show, leads in a natural way to the formation of the entire mass spectrum of stars with physical properties that match the observations. These processes also result in the formation of protoplanetary disks out of which the planets form. New work in my group shows that turbulence
within these disks plays a central role in both planetary formation and migration.
The final linkage from star formation to the origins of life is that protoplanetary disks are increasingly understood to be natural sites for the formation and delivery of water and biomolecules (such as amino acids) to young planets. Thus, I will argue that the appearance of life on terrestrial planets may be a natural consequence of astrophysical processes that are intrinsic to star formation. This latter work is new research that we have started under the auspices of the Origins Institute.