The formation of fragments at corotation in isothermal protoplanetary disks
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Numerical hydrodynamics simulations have established that disks which are evolved under the condition of local isothermality will fragment into small dense clumps due to gravitational instabilities when the Toomre stability parameter Q is sufficiently low. Because fragmentation through disk instability has been suggested as a gas giant planet formation mechanism, it is important to understand the physics underlying this process as thoroughly as possible. In this paper, we offer analytic arguments for why, at low Q, fragments are most likely to form first at the corotation radii of growing spiral modes, and we support these arguments with results from 3D hydrodynamics simulations.
KeywordsAccretion, accretion disks Hydrodynamics Instabilities Planetary systems: formation Planetary systems: protoplanetary disks
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