Mor Rozner

Our PhD student, Mor Rozner, instructed by Prof. Hagai Perets, won the Azrieli Fellowship.

 

Mor’s research focuses mainly on stellar and planetary dynamics, as well as planet formation and destruction. There are many challenges in planet formation, which stray over several orders of magnitude - from dust grains to gas giants, and each evolutionary stage has its own unique challenge. One of the major challenges in planet formation is the growth of planets beyond meter-size, i.e. 'the meter-size barrier', which includes many barriers, such as fragmentation and radial drift. In a series of projects, Mor, under the supervision of Hagai Peres, studies a novel barrier in planet formation - the aeolian-erosion barrier - which acts similarly to wind erosion in the desert, in which the outermost layers of the sand are swept-away due to the effect of the wind. In this process, pebbles are eroded from typical size of several meters to few centimeters. The research also found a similar process in white dwarf disks, the remnant of a star with initial mass similar to the sun.

 

Furthermore, Mor studies the origin of planets. In one research she suggested that the binary Pluto-Charon (the largest of Pluto’s moons) originated from a wide binary and got close via hierarchical triple interaction, with the Sun as a third perturber. 
In a recent project, she and her fellow researchers suggest an origin of hot and warm Jupiters. These are gas giants with similar characteristics to the planet Jupiter in our Solar system, but with much higher temperatures, due to their proximity to their host stars. The standard planet formation models are not able to explain their formation, since they are distant from the feeding zone of gas giants - in which newly born gas giants accrete material and grow. Hence, it was suggested that hot and warm Jupiters were born far away from their current position and migrated later. However, in most studies, it was not considered that at the end of core accretion (a final stage of gas giant formation), the planet is inflated, which will enhance the migration rate towards the star and hence increase the overall formed hot Jupiters rate, which becomes comparable to observational data.



Mor started her BSc at the age of 14, as a part of the program "from high school to the Technion”, and during her studies participated in the physics honors program, in which she took an active part in research at a very early stage and did a project in astrophysics under the supervision of Prof. Hagai Perets. During her army service she completed a master’s in cosmology.  Mor started her PhD studies during her army service, and since her discharge a year ago has been conducting research full-time.

 

Congratulations Mor!