Revisiting the Core Accretion Paradigm for Giant Planet Formation: Analytic Framework for the Late Infall Stage and the Distribution of Planetary Masses
Fred C. Adams (University of Michigan)
This talk presents an analytic description for the late stages of giant planet formation, when planets gather the majority of their mass. The resulting solutions show how the protoplanet properties (envelope density distribution, velocity field, column density, disk surface density, system luminosity, and emergent spectral energy distributions) vary with the input parameters of the problem (instantaneous mass, orbital location, accretion rate, and planetary magnetic field strength). We then construct a framework for calculating the distribution of planet masses resulting from this paradigm. In this scenario, the disk lifetime determines the end of mass accretion onto the planet. The mass accretion rate depends on the size of the Hill sphere, the fraction of the disk accretion flow that enters the sphere of influence, and the efficiency with which the planet captures the incoming material. The resulting model produces a planetary mass function with a nearly power-law form, roughly consistent with current observational estimates.