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Workshop on the Physics of Fine-Tuning: Other Earths

REGISTRATION & CONTACT

The registration for the 1st Workshop on the Physics of Fine-Tuning: Other Earths is free. Click here to register.

For any enquiries regarding this please email Leanne O'Donnell.

 

ORGANISING COMMITTEE
 
Rafael Alves Batista
Khalil Chamcham
Roger Davies
Joe Silk
David Sloan

 

VENUE & DIRECTIONS
 
The workshop will take place in Trinity College on the 11th of February, from 2-6 pm. Directions can be found here.
 
SCHEDULE
14.00-14.45
Where and how might we look for life? From planet demographics to biosignatures [abstract]
Suzanne Aigrain
(University of Oxford)
chair: Roger Davies
 
14:45-15.30
Capitalising on Diversity: The Outcomes of Planet Formation as Initial Conditions for the Origins of Life [abstract]
Michael Meyer
(ETH Zurich)
chair: David Sloan
 
15.30-16.30 Live Stream LIGO press conference + coffee break    
16.30-17.15
Our Place in the Cosmos [abstract]
Mario Livio
(U. of Nevada, Las Vegas & visiting professor at Weizmann Institute)
chair: Joe Silk
 
17.15-17.45 Round Table Discussion

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

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The Solar System as an Exoplanetary System
Mario Livio (University of Nevada, Las Vegas & visiting professor at Weizmann Institute)

 

I will review the status of the physical existence of life on Earth in view of the latest findings in astronomy, cosmology, and particle physics. I will discuss fine-tuning arguments in relation to dark energy, the Higgs mass, and the solar system as an exoplanetary system. I will also bring in some philosophical considerations concerning the importance of human intelligence in the grand cosmic scheme.

 
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Where and how might we look for life? From planet demographics to biosignature
Suzanne Aigrain (University of Oxford)
 
By discovering thousands of exoplanets and studying them in increasing detail, we are for the first time starting to place the Earth and the Solar System in their larger context. We can start answering questions such as: what is the full range of planet and planetary system properties allowed by the laws of Physics? How common - or rare - are planets and planetary systems similar to our own? What properties does a planet need to combine to make it hospitable for life? How common are such planets? How far away is the nearest one? How frequently does life actually arise on such a “habitable” planet, how long does it typically survive, and how far does it develop? I will describe some of the key steps we have taken, and will continue to take over the coming decades, towards answering these fascinating questions, including developing sophisticated techniques to detect tiny, faint planets, defining concepts such as life and habitability, and constructing ambitious telescopes capable of searching for signs of life on exoplanets. 
 
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Capitalising on Diversity: The Outcomes of Planet Formation as Initial Conditions for the Origins of Life
Michael Meyer (ETH Zurich)
 

Planets form within circumstellar disks which are an inevitable outcome of the process of star formation.  We know a great deal about the structure, composition, and evolution of these circumstellar disks, which set the initial conditions of formation and define the environment of their early evolution.  While traditional planet formation theories generally fail when confronted with the observations, new ideas are suggesting a way forward.  What is certain is that the complex interplay between the dynamical evolution of these disks and time-dependent chemistry plays a critical role in dictating the composition of forming planets as a function of their mass, radius, and orbital location.  There is plenty of room for "fine tuning" but the great diversity in observed planetary system architectures could also represent an expected filling if the available phase space.