Disc evolution in binary systems

Planets form around binary stars as they do around single stars. However, there is also good observational and theoretical evidence that protoplanetary disc evolution in binary systems is very different to disc evolution around single stars.

In particular, the tidal torque from the binary suppresses disc accretion to the point that mass-loss (due to winds) is probably dominant driver of circumbinary disc evolution on secular (Myr) time-scales. Understanding protoplanetary disc winds is therefore critical if we are to build a complete picture of planet formation in binary systems.

The objectives for this WP are therefore:

1) modelling observations of specific systems in the VLT programme;

2) identifying new observational diagnostics of disc evolution in binary systems;

3) applying these results to build up a complete picture of how dust and gas discs in binary systems evolve across the planet-forming epoch.