Dr Philip J Carter

Postdoctoral Scholar   —   University of California, Davis


Research

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. Find out more here.
Image: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Lynette Cook.

About Me

I am a computational planetary scientist and astrophysicist. I carry out research related to planetary collisions and planet growth. I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis. 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.


News

June 2020: Denman et al. (2020) – Atmosphere loss in planet–planet collisions
Thomas Denman, a grad student at the University of Bristol I co-advise, had his first first-author paper published! In this work we modeled the loss of atmosphere in collisions between mini-Neptune and super-Earth sized planets. We found that a single collision cannot remove all the atmosphere without also removing a significant fraction of the mantle.
Read the paper in MNRAS or download from arXiv.

More animations can be found here.


February 2020: JGR Planets cover
Our paper on energy budgets in giant impacts 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.



News archive

Movie of the week

Protoplanet growth in the Grand Tack model


WD debris disc
Image: NASA/ESA/STScI.

Studying the moon
Image: STS.


UC Davis makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on these web pages, or of the security or privacy of any information collected by these web pages. All views expressed on this web site are those of the author and not UC Davis.