Planet-Disc Interactions and Early Evolution of Planetary Systems

09 Nov 2017

The great diversity of extrasolar planetary systems has challenged our understanding of how planets form, and how their orbits evolve as they form. Among the various processes that may account for this diversity, the gravitational interaction between planets and their parent protoplanetary disc plays a prominent role in shaping young planetary systems. Planet-disc forces are large, and the characteristic times for the evolution of planets orbital elements are much shorter than the lifetime of protoplanetary discs. The determination of such forces is challenging, because it involves many physical mechanisms and it requires a detailed knowledge of the disc structure. Yet, the intense research of the past few years, with the exploration of many new avenues, represents a very significant improvement on the state of the discipline. This chapter reviews current understanding of planet-disc interactions, and highlights their role in setting the properties and architecture of observed planetary systems.