Magnetic interactions between young stars and proto-planetary disks and tidal interactions between stars and planets play an important role in shaping the observed properties of planets and planetary systems. This multifaceted theoretical and computational program is devoted to understanding these interactions.
The first set of projects involves studying a novel magnetic misalignment effect in protostar-disk systems. The second set of projects involves studying dynamical tides (including thermal forcing) in hot Jupiters, and explores how they may contribute to the observed planetary radius anomaly.
Dong Lai’s work is highly relevant to several goals of NASA’s Origins of Solar Systems program, including characterization of other planetary systems, interpretation of observations related to the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and theoretical investigations related to the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The research will contribute to NASA’s vision statement and goal to “advance scientific knowledge of the origin and history of the solar system.”