phil armitage, stony brook university


WELCOME to the web site of Phil Armitage at Stony Brook University. I'm interested in using numerical simulations to understand the physics of protoplanetary disks, the formation of extrasolar planets, and the astrophysics of black holes. Ongoing work studies the formation of planetesimals, the accretion of planetary envelopes, and the role of strong magnetic fields in black hole accretion. I currently divide my time between Stony Brook and the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute, where I am developing a group in planet formation. If you're interested in visiting or working with us, let me know!

Recent work: The formation of planetesimals

In work led by Jake Simon we are using simulations of aerodynamically coupled mixtures of gas and particles to understand how the first planetesimals - km or larger bodies that can be thought of as primordial asteroids - formed. We have found evidence that the complex process of gravitational collapse nonetheless yields an initial mass function that may be universal, in the sense of being independent of the size of the solid particles that are involved.
Recent work: Tidal disruption by binary black holes

With Eric Coughlin we've investigated the process of stellar tidal disruption in the case where the galactic nucleus harbors a binary of supermassive black holes. The hydrodynamics turns out to be particularly rich, and may offer a new way to find black hole binaries that are approaching the regime of gravitational wave-driven inspiral.

Reviews and notes
Physical processes in protoplanetary disks (45th Saas-Fee Advanced Course "From Protoplanetary Disks to Planet Formation")

A brief overview of planet formation (Handbook of Exoplanets)

Dynamics of protoplanetary disks (Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Lecture notes on the formation and early evolution of planetary systems (arXiv only)

Personal I did undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Cambridge, working with Cathie Clarke at the Institute of Astronomy. I came to New York via postdoctoral stints at CITA and MPA and many enjoyable and productive years as a faculty member in Colorado.

Beyond work I enjoy running and hiking, the latter often combined with photography. My main focus is landscapes, but I've occasionally ventured into wildlife photographing bears in Alaska.

Philip Armitage, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Stony Brook University, NY 11794-3800