Review - gravitational instabilities and the formation of gas giant planets
Meeting Room 2, CMS
Gas giant planets can be formed directly through disk instability if the Toomre Q parameter is near unity and the local cooling time is comparable to or less than the local dynamical time. Whether these conditions can ever be realistically met during disk evolution has been the focus of heated debate. In this talk, I will review the constraints that analytical work and detailed radiation hydrodynamics simulations have placed on the disk instability model. I will outline where there is general agreement in the field and where controversy remains. In particular, I will summarize recent work by multiple authors that suggests that planet formation by disk instability can operate at large disk radii (~100 AU).