Astrophysics (Index)About

Rossby wave instability

(RWI)
(type of disk instability that may be a factor in planet formation)

A Rossby wave instability (RWI) is a phenomenon that can occur in a disk (protoplanetary disk or accretion disk) that makes the disk change from a smooth profile to less regular. It involves a positive feedback making small "density lumps" expand. A condition that can occur in Keplerian disks allowing Rossby waves to produce such an effect is termed a Rossby wave instability. Some theories of planet formation depend on such an instability, considering it as producing the high-density regions that result in planets.


(planetary disk,disturbance)
Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossby_Wave_Instability_in_Astrophysical_Discs

Referenced by pages:
giant planet formation

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