Phil Armitage

University of Colorado, Boulder

WELCOME! to the web site of Phil Armitage at the University of Colorado in Boulder. My research in theoretical and computational astrophysics focuses on the formation of extrasolar planetary systems and the astrophysics of black holes. Recent results include detailed predictions for ALMA observations of protoplanetary disks, development of a new model for X-ray binary state transitions, studies of tidal disruption events, and multi-fluid simulations of early stage planet formation.

MRI accretion disk simulation

Simulation of accretion disk turbulence

Our informal accretion / planet formation group currently includes Ryan O'Leary, Jake Simon, Vladimir Zhdankin and Upasana Das, and students Dan Gole, Eric Coughlin and Greg Salvesen.

Beyond work I enjoy hiking, often combined with photography. In addition to landscapes, which are my main focus, I've made trips the last few years to photograph bears in some spectacular spots in Alaska. Like seemingly everyone in Boulder, I'm into running and triathlon too!

Recent papers
Strongly magnetized accretion discs require poloidal flux, G. Salvesen, P.J. Armitage, J.B. Simon & M.C. Begelman, MNRAS, in press

The initial mass and size distribution of planetesimals, J.B. Simon, P.J. Armitage, R. Li & A.N. Youdin, ApJ, 822, article id. 55 (2016)

On the structure of tidally disrupted stellar debris streams, E.R. Coughlin, C. Nixon, M.C. Begelman & P.J. Armitage, MNRAS, 459, 3089 (2016)

Planet-disc evolution and the formation of Kozai-Lidov planets, R.G. Martin, S.H. Lubow, C. Nixon & P.J. Armitage, MNRAS, 458, 4345 (2016)

Accretion disc dynamo activity in local simulations spanning weak-to-strong net vertical magnetic flux regimes, G. Salvesen, J.B. Simon, P.J. Armitage & M.C. Begelman, MNRAS, 457, 857 (2016)

Post-periapsis pancakes: sustenance for self-gravity in tidal disruption events, E.R. Coughlin, C. Nixon, M.C. Begelman, P.J. Armitage & D.J. Price, MNRAS, 455, 3612 (2016)

Books, reviews and notes
Physical processes in protoplanetary disks (Armitage, 45th Saas-Fee Advanced Course "From Protoplanetary Disks to Planet Formation")

The dispersal of protoplanetary disks (Alexander et al., Protostars and Planets VI, 2014)

The long-term dynamical evolution of planetary systems (Davies et al., Protostars and Planets VI, 2014)

Dynamics of protoplanetary disks (Armitage, ARA&A, 2011)

Lecture notes on the formation and early evolution of planetary systems, a survey of planet formation theory that forms the basis of my textbook, Astrophysics of planet formation.

astrophysics of planet formation textbook
phil armitage

Phil Armitage

Professor, APS
Fellow, JILA

BA: Physics & Theoretical Physics, Cambridge

Ph.D.: Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge (supervisor Cathie Clarke)


Philip Armitage
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO80309-0440
Tel: 303-492-7836; FAX: 303-492-5235