Astrophysics Seminar: Dr. Matthias He, University of Notre Dame


Location: 184 Nieuwland Science Hall

Statistical Inference on the Intrinsic Distribution of Exoplanetary Systems

Dr. Matthias He
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Notre Dame

With the growing number of exoplanet discoveries, it is becoming ever more important to study the planetary demographics. The Kepler planet catalog continues to drive most statistical studies on the populations of inner planetary systems -- yet doing so requires robust statistical methods and accounting for detection biases. In this talk, I will focus on four main themes: (1) First, I will summarize the SysSim forward modeling framework for inferring the true distribution of planetary systems from the observed distribution. (2) I will then describe two of the most striking features of the Kepler population, the patterns of intra-system similarity ("peas in a pod") and the relationship between planet multiplicity and mutual inclinations (the apparent "Kepler dichotomy"). (3) Next, I will focus on how we can infer the initial formation conditions of the multis via the "minimum-mass extrasolar nebula". (4) Finally, I will discuss the tantalizing prospects of how inner planetary systems may allow us to predict the existence of outer giant planets.

Hosted by Prof. Weiss