Dr. Peter Woitke

Research Theme:
St. Andrews
Email address:
Telephone number:
+44 (0)1334 461681
School of Physics & Astronomy, Physical Science Building, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom

Research interests

I am working in the field of star and planet formation with emphasis on modelling protoplanetary discs, the birth-places of planets. The modelling includes 2D dust continuum radiative transfer, gas phase, UV-photo and Xray-chemistry, ice formation, heating & cooling balance, and the consistent computation of the vertical hydrostatic structure of the disc.  Based on these models, various line and continuum observations can be simulated, and I have experience with the interpretation of observational data from e.g. HERSCHEL and ALMA, to mention a few.

I am the PI of a 2-million-Euro FP7 SPACE collaborative project DIANA (DIsc ANAlysis) managing a team of 14 European scientists in 5 European countries . Our aims are to collect multi-wavelength observational datasets for protoplanetary discs, from X-ray to cm, and to analyse and interpret these data on the basis of the disc models, to learn more about the physical and chemical structure of the places where planets form.


I am currently teaching the AS3013 module "Computational Astrophysics", where students are introduced to the FORTRAN 90 language, and then work on four continuously assessed exercises, each taking them between 2 and 4 weeks. The topics covered range from simple black-body radiation, over the initial mass function of star formation and N-body simulations, to Bayesian analysis of planet transit data.  The students lean basic numerical methods for root-finding, numerical integration, and for solving systems of ordinary differential equations. The students also learn how to write reports in scientific language, and how to make plots.

Research outputs

  1. X-ray radiative transfer in protoplanetary disks DOI
    Ch. Rab, M. Güdel, P. Woitke, I. Kamp, W-F Thi, M. Min, G. Aresu and R. Meijerink, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 609 (2018)
  2. Direct mapping of the temperature and velocity gradients in discs DOI
    C. Pinte, F. Ménard, G. Duchêne, T. Hill, W. R.F. Dent, P. Woitke, S. Maret, G. Van Der Plas, A. Hales, I. Kamp et al., Astronomy & Astrophysics, 609 (2018)
  3. Equlibrium chemistry down to 100 K
    Peter Woitke, Christiane Helling, G.H. Hunter, J.D. Millard, G.E. Turner, M. Worters, J. Blecic and J.W. Stock, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2017)
  4. Consistent dust and gas models for protoplanetary disks DOI
    I. Kamp, W. F. Thi, P. Woitke, C. Rab, S. Bouma and F. Ménard, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 607 (2017)
  5. Thermochemical modelling of brown dwarf discs DOI
    A. J. Greenwood, I. Kamp, L. B. F. M. Waters, P. Woitke, W.-F. Thi, Ch Rab, G. Aresu and M. Spaans, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 601 (2017)
  6. Comparison Catalogue of Gas-Equilibrium Constants, Kp DOI
    Megan Worters, Drew Millard, Glen Hunter, Christiane Helling and Peter Woitke (2017)
  7. Graphical Comparison of Mineral Gibbs Free Energy Data DOI
    Peter Woitke, Christiane Helling and George Turner (2017)
  8. HCO+ detection of dust-depleted gas in the inner hole of the LkCa 15 pre-transitional disk DOI
    E. Drabek-Maunder, S. Mohanty, J. Greaves, I. Kamp, R. Meijerink, M. Spaans, W. F. Thi and P. Woitke, Astrophysical Journal, 833, 2 (2016)
  9. Dynamic mineral clouds on HD 189733b DOI
    G. Lee, I. Dobbs-Dixon, Ch. Helling, K. Bognar and P. Woitke, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 594 (2016)
  10. Gas and dust around A-type stars at tens of Myr: signatures of cometary breakup DOI
    J. S. Greaves, W. S. Holland, B. C. Matthews, J. P. Marshall, W. R. F. Dent, P. Woitke, M. C. Wyatt, L. Matrà and A. Jackson, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 461, 4 , p. 3910-3917 (2016)
Last updated: 07 Sep 2017 at 21:12