|M.Sc Student||Matias Rotenberg|
|Subject||Planet-Planet Scattering and the Dynamical Evolution of|
|Department||Department of Physics||Supervisor||Professor Perets Hagai|
|Full Thesis text|
Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered over the past two decades, showing a wide range of orbital properties. The orbital properties of many of these systems are distinct from those observed in the Solar systems, in particular, many exoplanets are found to have high eccentricities and inclinations, in contrast to the almost circular, co-aligned coplanar configurations of planets in the Solar system. It was suggested early-on that planetary eccentricities and inclinations can be excited through planetplanet gravitational interactions; be that strong planet-planet scattering
or long term secular evolution; possibly by a binary stellar companion to the system. Here, we perform extensive N-body numerical simulations, and collect sufficient data to statistically explore the outcomes of such interactions and their implication for the architecture of planetary systems.
We study large samples of unstable 10-planet systems, and follow their evolution until they stabilize following the ejections and or collisions of most of their planetary constituents. We explore both the evolution of single star systems as well as planetary systems with a binary companion in various configurations (binary separation, binary inclination). We compare the evolution and the different outcomes from these simulations and analyze the results. We find that binary systems show distinct behavior from single star systems, and find that the smaller number of planets
survive in such systems; the survivals tend to co-align with the binary companion orbit, even in wide binaries (500 AU separation). We also discover novel correlations not studied before between the orbital parameter of planets in single-star systems resulting from the dynamical evolution, which may provide important signatures for such evolution. Finally, we point out the trend of the mass function of surviving planets to be biased towards larger masses, with more massive planets expected in the inner regions of planetary systems than the outskirts.