Dr Philip J Carter

Postdoctoral Scholar   —   University of California, Davis


My research focuses on numerical simulations of planet formation. I am interested in collisions of planetesimals and protoplanets, and the cumulative effect collisions can have on the compositions of growing planets.
I am also interested in the final fates of planetary systems, long after their host star has died and left behind a white dwarf. Polluted white dwarfs appear to accrete remnant planetary material, but it is unclear how this material is delivered. more

Planet Collisions
Image: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Lynette Cook.


I am a postdoctoal scholar in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis, where I carry out research related to planetary collisions. Previously I was a postdoc in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol. My background is in astrophysics, having gained my PhD in 2014 from the University of Warwick, where I carried out observational studies of ultra-compact accreting binaries.

Studying the moon
Image: STS.


Philip J Carter
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
CA 95616

pjcarter (at) ucdavis.edu


Stewart Group

Earth and Planetary Sciences, UC Davis

Movie of the week

Disruption of a differentiated asteroid on an eccentric orbit around WD1145+017

WD debris disc

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February 2020: JGR Planets cover
Our paper was chosen for the cover of the latest issue of JGR Planets!

January 2020: Are exoplanetesimals differentiated? – Bonsor et al. (2020)
Short answer: yes. In this paper by Bonsor et al., available on arXiv and published in MNRAS, we compare calcium and iron abundances from a large sample of polluted white dwarfs with expected distributions from collisionally processed, differentiated planetesimals. We find that the data are best explained by 66–100% of white dwarfs having accreted the remains of differentiated bodies.

December 2019: The energy budgets of giant impacts – Carter et al. (2020)
In this paper, available on arXiv and soon to be published in JGR Planets, we explore the exchange of energy during giant impacts, the vaporization of the impactors' mantles, and the state of the resulting body immediately after the impact.

Animations from this paper can be found here.

April 2019: UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium
I discussed giant impacts and moon formation at the UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium.

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