excerpts from


(No. 9, October 2000)

[NFR, SNSB; ISSN 1402-9731; available from nfr@nfr.se]

Swedish research in Astronomy and Astrophysics has been evaluated in 2000 by a 6-member, international Evaluation Committee. The panel  issued a report containing the following  grading scale: poor, fair, good, very good, excellent.
(The  excellent  grade was defined as: "Research at a very high international level; of great  international interest with broad impact and with publications in internationally leading journals; the researchers are among the leading in the field.")

Astrophysical systems containing disks - their dynamics and evolution
(Pawel Artymowicz, Taku Takeuchi)

Dr. Artymowicz is carrying out theoretical investigations of the origin and dynamical evolution of gaseous and particulate disks. These investigations involve a very wide range of topics of great current interest: the conditions under which gaps open up in disk by binary stars and in systems with low-mass stellar companions; the migration of bodies within disks; dust migration in optically thin disks which contain non-negligible amounts of gas; the nature of the solid debris in the disks in Vega and Beta-Pictoris-type systems; the effects of non-axisymmetric gas streaming through gaps; the formation of extrasolar planets; the evolution of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies; intermittent activity in the Galactic Center driven by capture of stars in gas clouds or disks. He has used different analytical and/or numerical methods of a high degree of sophistication in the study of different classes of objects and has  compared carefully the results obtained with different methods. Many interesting results in all these fields have been obtained over the past few years, introducing new concepts such as dust avalanches, and challenging currently accepted ideas.

He is working on a number of very "hot" topics, such as formation and evolution of protoplanets in disks, which have been greatly stimulated by the discovery of extrasolar planetary systems very different from the solar system. Dr. Artymowicz has acquired, in just a few years, an outstanding international recognition. He cooperates closely with other leading researchers in the field, such as D. Lin (Santa Cruz) and S. Lubow (Space Telescope Science Institute). His team is doing excellent work on complex problems that have applications in different fields of astrophysics. It is very important that he gets sufficient  support to maintain and even expand his team.

This work is regarded as excellent and a clear highlight of the Observatory's programme.