Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Radius Inflation from Deuterium Fusion in the Core of Jupiter-like Exoplanets
by Miller, Nina M., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 49; 22582893
Abstract (Summary)

Jupiter-like giant planets comprise a third of the 3000+ exoplanets detected to date. Some of those planets orbit extremely close to their parent stars with orbital periods of ~10 days. Due to their proximity to the parent star, these gas giants receive large amounts of irradiation and are consequently called "Hot Jupiters". The problem arises when models of planetary structure, accounting only for the stellar irradiation, fail to accurately predict the radius of Hot Jupiters. There are a number of mechanisms that have been suggested in the literature to provide an additional internal heat source that can inflate the planets; however a consensus has not been reached. In this thesis, we explore the possibility of deuterium fusion in the vicinity of an ice-rich core as an additional source of internal heat that can explain the inflated radius of Hot Jupiters. Assuming a simple model of the planetary interior and accounting for recent observations on the structure and interior of the solar Jupiter, we find that deuterium fusion is indeed a viable mechanism for radius inflation, provided certain conditions are met.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jaikumar, Prashanth
Commitee: Bill, Andreas, Papp, Zoltan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Astrophysics, Physics
Keywords: Exoplanets, Hot jupiter, Radius anomaly
Publication Number: 22582893
ISBN: 9781687914217
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