Physics Department Colloquia

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Glimpsing the Compositions of Sub-Neptune-Size Worlds
Date: Friday, October 8th
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Leslie Rogers, University of Chicago
Abstract: Sub-Neptune and super-Earth-size planets are a new category of astrophysical objects. Though absent from the Solar System, exoplanet surveys have revealed that they are a dominant outcome of planet formation found in abundance around other stars. The nature of these planets is not well understood. In the sub-Neptune size range a large variety of planet bulk compositions are a priori possible, including terrestrial super-Earths, mini-Neptunes with hydrogen-helium envelopes, and water-worlds with several tens of percent water by mass. In this talk, I will present recent results from my group aimed at understanding the nature and origin of these enigmatic sub-Neptune-size worlds and disentangling the relative contributions from various compositional scenarios to the observed population of planets.
Host: Ellen Zweibel
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