astro120111 - Astronomy December 1st 2011 Temperature is a...

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Astronomy December 1 st , 2011 Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy - Kinetic energy = ½ mv 2 - In a particular object, all elements are at the same temperature and have the same amount of kinetic energy - Therefore, heavier elements must move more slowly (so that they have the same KE as the light elements) Why is this important? - Answer: Particles bond more easily at lower velocities. - Therefore, at a high temperature, heavy What happens next? - Why does a stable disk turn into planets? Several processes play roles: o Condensation: change from gas phase to liquid or solid phase. Particles bond and change phase. Different materials condense at different temperatures. o Accretion: microscopic condensates collide and stick together and grow into planetesimals . Can grow to several hundred km across. o Planetesimal collisions: small ones shatter, big ones grow. Condensation formed the seeds for planets, and then accretion built them up.
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