Univ. NICE
Prof. A. Matter & B. Lopez
Observing the Planet-forming Region in Protoplanetary Disks – renamed “Circumstellar environments” from A.Y. 2024/2025
(S2, elective, 3 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:As of today, more than 4000 exoplanets have been discovered and show a great variety of characteristics (size,position). Understanding the origin of such variety requires direct observations of the primordial structures that gave birth to planets, namely the protoplanetary disks, which require very high angular resolution and a relevant wavelength coverage. MATISSE is a 2nd generation instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) of the European Southern ean Southern Observatory (ESO), built by a consortium of european institutes led by Lagrange Lab OCA. Combining 4 telescopes, this unique interferometer is able to probe the innermost regions (∼0.1-10au) of protoplanetary disks, expected to be the birthplace of telluric planets. Their formation remains puzzling, which requires observing and characterizing their building blocks (dust and gas) in disks.In this, we will explore the basics of optical interferometry and see how MATISSE works. We wil then learn how to create disk, using radiative transfer, and simulated disk observations with MATISSE.
Knowledge and Understanding:
-Understanding optical interferometry and its applications. -Developing knowledge and skills in radiative transfer, including the use of a radiative transfer code. -Linking observations and constraints on the physics of disks. -Developing a critical view on the feasibility of disk observations
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:The project will consist of three steps: after getting familiar with the radiative transfer code RADMC3D, the students will produce a set of simple disk models including the corresponding brightness maps(synthetic images). This set of models will focus on one particular structure (e.g.,gap, inner disk rim shape) or disk physical parameter that MATISSE may be able to detect constrain in the inner disk regions. From the synthetic model images, the students will then use the tool AS-PRO2 to simulate the interferometric observables that MATISSE would produce, including the expected error bars. The simulated MATISSE data will then be examined to assess the feasibility of detection of the structure or physical parameter we will have focused on in the disk models
PrerequisitesFourier Optics and Interferometry techniques
ProgramFirst 3 weeks: theoretical courses on optical interferometry and radiative transfer. First 3 weeks: bibliographic study on MATISSE & disks + familiarization with RADMC3D. Second half of the period: feasibility study on disk observations (radiative transfer simulations+use of ASPRO2). Last week: preparation of the oral presentation
Description of how the course is conductedPowerpoints, lectures, articles, practice of tools and codes
Description of the didactic methodsLectures, exercises and project
Description of the evaluation methodsWritten project and Oral
Adopted Textbooksnone
Recommended readingsWebsite of the instrument MATISSE (ESO)