This 2-day workshop is associated with the 2005 J.H. Oort professor, Anneila Sargent from the California Institute of Technology.
The formation of stars from collapse of a slowly rotating cloud core inevitably leads to the formation of a rotating circumstellar disk. This disk plays a critical role in the subsequent evolution of the system. Matter is accreted from the envelope through the disk onto the growing star. The disk also shapes the bipolar outflows, since the protostellar wind can only escape in directions perpendicular to the disk. Finally, the formation of planets occurs in the disk through coagulation and settling of the grains to larger and larger particles. It is clear that the mass, size, shape, temperature, density and composition of the disk must change during this period, which lasts from a few 10^4 to a few 10^6 yr. after cloud collapse.
Much attention has been paid to the later stages of disk evolution, when the gas has disappeared and planets may have formed. It is the purpose of this 2-day workshop to focus on the earlier phases when star- and planet-formation are still in full swing.
The workshop will focus on three aspects of disk evolution:
- Disks in the embedded phase
- Mixing processes in disks
- Grain growth and grain settling
These topics are particularly timely since new data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, large ground-based optical telescopes, infrared interferometers, and millimeter interferometers provide a wealth of new insight. The workshop will bring together key observers from the infrared and millimeter communities, as well as theorists.