Title: What we don’t know about planet formation
Abstract: It has long been known that planets form from dust and gas in the protoplanetary disks that are present for the first few million years of a star’s lifetime. More recently, we have accumulated superb data on both the initial conditions (the protoplanetary disks) and the final outcomes (the Solar System and extrasolar planetary systems) of planet formation. But there remains much we don’t know. Growth from the size of dust particles all the way to fully formed planets requires multiple physical processes, some of which are hard to model and nigh impossible to observe. In this talk, I will describe some of what we know about planet formation, what we don’t know, and what we’re doing at Flatiron to fill in the gaps in our understanding. I promise to keep to time despite the open-ended nature of this task!