A Caltech Library Service

Physical models of streaming instabilities in protoplanetary discs

Squire, Jonathan and Hopkins, Philip F. (2020) Physical models of streaming instabilities in protoplanetary discs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 498 (1). pp. 1239-1251. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa2311.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We develop simple, physically motivated models for drag-induced dust–gas streaming instabilities, which are thought to be crucial for clumping grains to form planetesimals in protoplanetary discs. The models explain, based on the physics of gaseous epicyclic motion and dust–gas drag forces, the most important features of the streaming instability and its simple generalization, the disc settling instability. Some of the key properties explained by our models include the sudden change in the growth rate of the streaming instability when the dust-to-gas mass ratio surpasses one, the slow growth rate of the streaming instability compared to the settling instability for smaller grains, and the main physical processes underlying the growth of the most unstable modes in different regimes. As well as providing helpful simplified pictures for understanding the operation of an interesting and fundamental astrophysical fluid instability, our models may prove useful for analysing simulations and developing non-linear theories of planetesimal growth in discs.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Squire, Jonathan0000-0001-8479-962X
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Alternate Title:Physical models of streaming instabilities in protoplanetary disks
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2020 July 31. Received 2020 July 29; in original form 2020 February 29. Published: 08 August 2020. We would like to thank the reviewer, M. Pessah, for helpful suggestions that led to significant improvement in the manuscript. We also thank P. Benítez-Llambay, J. Goodman, and L. Krapp for helpful discussions. Support for JS was provided by Rutherford Discovery Fellowship RDF-U001804 and Marsden Fund grant UOO1727, which are managed through the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Support for PFH was provided by NSF Collaborative Research Grants 1715847 and 1911233, NSF CAREER grant 1455342, and NASA grants 80NSSC18K0562 and JPL 1589742. Data Availability: No new data were generated or analysed in support of this research.
Group:Astronomy Department, TAPIR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Royal Society Te ApārangiRDF-U001804
Royal SocietyUOO1727
Subject Keywords:instabilities – planets and satellites: formation – protoplanetary discs
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200309-151230451
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jonathan Squire, Philip F Hopkins, Physical models of streaming instabilities in protoplanetary discs, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 498, Issue 1, October 2020, Pages 1239–1251,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101796
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Mar 2020 22:42
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:05

Repository Staff Only: item control page