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Large scale dynamics of protoplanetary discs

Abstract : Planets form in the gaseous and dusty disks orbiting young stars. These protoplanetary disks are dispersed in a few million years, being accreted onto the central star or evaporated into the interstellar medium. To explain the observed accretion rates, it is commonly assumed that matter is transported through the disk by turbulence, although the mechanism sustaining turbulence is uncertain. On the other side, irradiation by the central star could heat up the disk surface and trigger a photoevaporative wind, but thermal effects cannot account for the observed acceleration and collimation of the wind into a narrow jet perpendicular to the disk plane. Both issues can be solved if the disk is sensitive to magnetic fields. Weak fields lead to the magnetorotational instability, whose outcome is a state of sustained turbulence. Strong fields can slow down the disk, causing it to accrete while launching a collimated wind. However, the coupling between the disk and the neutral gas is done via electric charges, each of which is outnumbered by several billion neutral molecules. The imperfect coupling between the magnetic field and the neutral gas is described in terms of "non-ideal" effects, introducing new dynamical behaviors. This thesis is devoted to the transport processes happening inside weakly ionized and weakly magnetized accretion disks; the role of microphysical effects on the large-scale dynamics of the disk is of primary importance. As a first step, I exclude the wind and examine the impact of non-ideal effects on the turbulent properties near the disk midplane. I show that the flow can spontaneously organize itself if the ionization fraction is low enough; in this case, accretion is halted and the disk exhibits axisymmetric structures, with possible consequences on planetary formation. As a second step, I study the launching of disk winds via a global model of stratified disk embedded in a warm atmosphere. This model is the first to compute non-ideal effects from a simplified chemical network in a global geometry. It reveals that the flow is essentially laminar, and that the magnetic field can adopt different global configurations, drastically affecting mass and magnetic flux transport through the disk. A new self-organization process is identified, also leading to the formation of axisymmetric structures, whereas the previous mechanism is discarded by the action of the wind. The properties of magnetothermal winds are examined for various disk magnetizations, allowing discrimination between magnetized and photoevaporative winds based upon their ejection efficiency.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 6:02:22 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 10, 2022 - 3:39:40 AM

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William Béthune. Large scale dynamics of protoplanetary discs. 2017. ⟨insu-03692486⟩

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