Dr Philip J Carter


My research focuses on numerical simulations related to planet formation. I am interested in the outcomes of collisions between planetesimals – the building blocks of planets, and higher energy giant impacts, and the cumulative effect these collisions can have on the compositions of growing planets. I study these processes using a combination of N-body and smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. The goal is to understand how accretion shapes the chemistry of 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. Observations of polluted white dwarfs show that they are accreting material similar in composition to terrestrial planets and asteroids, but it is not understood how these remnants of exoplanetary systems are delivered to the white dwarf.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.