Thermal evolution of protoplanetary disks: From β -cooling to decoupled gas and dust temperatures

Eduard I. Vorobyov, Ryoki Matsukoba, Kazuyuki Omukai, Manuel Guedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. We explore the long-term evolution of young protoplanetary disks with different approaches to computing the thermal structure determined by various cooling and heating processes in the disk and its surroundings. Methods. Numerical hydrodynamics simulations in the thin-disk limit were complemented with three thermal evolution schemes: a simplified β-cooling approach with and without irradiation, where the rate of disk cooling is proportional to the local dynamical time; a fiducial model with equal dust and gas temperatures calculated taking viscous heating, irradiation, and radiative cooling into account; and a more sophisticated approach allowing decoupled dust and gas temperatures. Results. We found that the gas temperature may significantly exceed that of dust in the outer regions of young disks thanks to additional compressional heating caused by the infalling envelope material in the early stages of disk evolution and slow collisional exchange of energy between gas and dust in low-density disk regions. However, the outer envelope shows an inverse trend, with the gas temperatures dropping below that of dust. The global disk evolution is only weakly sensitive to temperature decoupling. Nevertheless, separate dust and gas temperatures may affect the chemical composition, dust evolution, and disk mass estimates. Constant-β models without stellar and background irradiation fail to reproduce the disk evolution with more sophisticated thermal schemes because of the intrinsically variable nature of the β-parameter. Constant-β models with irradiation more closely match the dynamical and thermal evolution, but the agreement is still incomplete. Conclusions. Models allowing separate dust and gas temperatures are needed when emphasis is placed on the chemical or dust evolution in protoplanetary disks, particularly in subsolar metallicity environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA102
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: protostars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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