Catherine Espaillat's Thesis


Dr. Catherine C. Espaillat
Assistant Professor of Astronomy
Boston University


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Thesis

The Evolution of Dusty Disks Around Low-Mass Pre-Main Sequence Stars
(Click here for a pdf. Individual sections can be obtained below.)


Contents

Dedication
Acknowledgements
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Abstract

Chapter
1 Introduction
     1.1 Dust Grain Growth and Settling in Dusty Accretion Disks
          1.1.1 Linking Theory & Observations with Models
     1.2 Clearing in Dusty Disks
          1.2.1 Transitional and Pre-transitional Disks
          1.2.2 Disk Clearing Mechanisms
     1.3 Overview of the Thesis

2 Modeling Irradiated Accretion Disks Around T Tauri Stars
     2.1 Introduction
     2.2 Overview of the D'Alessio Code
          2.2.1 Vertical Disk Structure
          2.2.2 Disk Surface Density and Mass
          2.2.3 The Effect of Dust Opacity on Disk Structure
          2.2.4 Inner Disk Wall
     2.3 Grid of Disk Models
     2.4 Results
          2.4.1 Disk Properties
          2.4.2 SED Simulations
          2.4.3 Comparison to Observations
     2.5 Discussion & Conclusions

3 Probing the Dust and Gas in the Transitional Disk of CS Cha with Spitzer
     3.1 Introduction
     3.2 Observations
     3.3 Analysis
          3.3.1 Dust Properties
          3.3.2 Gas Properties
     3.4 Discussion & Conclusions

4 CVSO 224: A Slowly Accreting ~10 Myr Old Transitional Disk
    in Orion OB1a

     4.1 Introduction
     4.2 Observations & Data Reduction
     4.3 Analysis
          4.3.1 Accretion Properties
          4.3.2 Disk Properties
     4.4 Discussion & Conclusions

5 On the Diversity of the Taurus Transitional Disks: UX Tau A & Lk Ca 15
     5.1 Introduction
     5.2 Observations & Data Reduction
     5.3 Analysis
          5.3.1 Model Parameters
          5.3.2 UX Tau A
          5.3.3 Lk Ca 15
     5.4 Discussion & Conclusions

6 Confirmation of a Gapped Primordial Disk Around LkCa 15
     6.1 Introduction
     6.2 Observations & Data Reduction
     6.3 Analysis
     6.4 Discussion & Conclusions

7 Unveiling the Innermost Regions of Disks with Gaps and Holes
     7.1 Introduction
     7.2 Observations & Data Reduction
     7.3 Analysis
          7.3.1 LkCa 14
          7.3.2 UX Tau
          7.3.3 DM Tau
          7.3.4 GM Aur
     7.4 Discussion & Conclusions

8 Summary & Conclusions
     8.1 The Transitional Disks
     8.2 The Pre-Transitional Disks
     8.3 Neon Gas in the Planet-Forming Regions of T Tauri Disks
     8.4 Comparing Pre-Transitional and Transitional Disk Observations
             with Planet Formation Theories
     8.5 Directions for the Future

References