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Self-Consistent Simulation of the Brownian Stage of Dust GrowthIt is a widely accepted view that in proto-planetary accretion disks the collision and following sticking of dust particles embedded in the gas eventually leads to the formation of planetesimals (coagulation). For the smallest dust grains, Brownian motion is assumed to be the dominant source of their relative velocities leading to collisions between these dust grains. As the dust grains grow they eventually couple to the turbulent motion of the gas which then drives the coagulation much more efficiently. Many numerical coagulation simulations have been carried out to calculate the fractal dimension of the aggregates, which determines the duration of the ineffective Brownian stage of growth. Predominantly on-lattice and off-lattice methods were used. However, both methods require simplification of the astrophysical conditions. The aggregates found by those methods had a fractal dimension of approximately 2 which is equivalent to a constant, mass-independent friction time. If this value were valid for the conditions in an accretion disk, this would mean that the coagulation process would finally 'freeze out' and the growth of a planetesimal would be impossible within the lifetime of an accretion disk. In order to investigate whether this fractal dimension is model independent, we simulate self-consistently the Brownian stage of the coagulation by an N-particle code. This method has the advantage that no further assumptions about homogeneity of the dust have to be made. In our model, the dust grains are considered as aggregates built up of spheres. The equation of motion of the dust grains is based on the probability density for the diffusive transport within the gas atmosphere. Because of the very low number density of the dust grains, only 2-body-collisions have to be considered. As the Brownian stage of growth is very inefficient, the system is to be simulated over long periods of time. In order to find close particle pairs of the system which are most likely to undergo a collision, we use a particle-in-cell (PIC) method for the early stages of the simulation where the system is still very homogeneous and a tree method later when the particles are more clustered.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kempf, S.
(Max-Planck-Inst., Jena Gera, Germany)
Pfalzner, S.
(Max-Planck-Inst., Jena Gera, Germany)
Henning, Th.
(Max-Planck-Inst., Jena Gera, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: From Stardust to Planetesimals: Contributed Papers
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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