Recent papers, Episode 4

Forming the building blocks of planets by winning the lottery

A summary of the following nice paper by Fredrik was long overdue:

Breaking through: The effects of a velocity distribution on barriers to dust growth
F. Windmark, T. Birnstiel, C. W. Ormel, and C. P. Dullemond, A&A (2012) vol. 544, L16

In these two papers, we show how the building blocks of planets can be formed by mutual sticking instead of gravitational attraction, in contrast to recent beliefs. The short explanation is that we include two key effects, one is based on recent laboratory results (see also this post), the other one involves randomness, such that a few "lucky" particles can continue to grow, even in a generally hostile environment.

However with this review, I'm really lazy and instead of explaining the details here, I let the first author speak for himself, so head over to Fredriks blog, to read how we solved these problems.