Abstract: Planetary systems form very early in a star’s life, usually when the parent star is still within its birth star-forming region. Most star-forming regions are not long-lived, undergoing dissolution into the Galactic disc within 10Myr. The majority of the literature asserts that this is due to 'gas expulsion', where most of the gravitational potential is in the gas left over from star formation. The theory goes that the combined effects of stellar winds and supernovae remove this potential, causing the stars to become unbound from each other and leading to the dispersal of the star-forming region. However, the initial conditions of the star-forming region, as well as the external tidal field of the Galaxy can also affect the long-term evolution of star-forming regions. In this PhD you will apply different prescriptions for the external tidal field, as well as different initial conditions for the star-forming regions, to determine whether gas expulsion really is the main driver of the dissolution of star-forming regions. You will use this information to quantify where the majority of planet-hosting stars like the Sun originate.
For more information on this project please contact [Email Address Removed] . Information on the Sheffield Astrophysics Group can be found at https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/physics/research/astrophysics .