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 and early evolution of extrasolar planetary systems, and the astrophysics of black holes. Specific topics of current interest include studies of the nature of turbulence in protoplanetary disks and of the formation of extrasolar terrestrial planetary systems. My teaching includes a range of primarily upper division undergraduate and graduate classes.

MRI accretion disk simulation

Simulation of accretion disk turbulence

Our informal accretion / planet formation group currently includes Ryan O'Leary, Jake Simon, Chris Nixon, Rebecca Martin and students Jacob Bruns, 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
Signatures of MRI-driven turbulence in protoplanetary disks: Predictions for ALMA observations, J.B. Simon, A.M Hughes, K.M. Flaherty, X.-N. Bai & P.J. Armitage, ApJ, submitted

Importance of thermal diffusion in the gravo-magnetic limit cycle, J.E. Owen & P.J. Armitage, MNRAS, 445, 2800 (2014)

The Kozai-Lidov mechanism in hydrodynamical disks, R.G. Martin, C. Nixon, S.H. Lubow, P.J. Armitage, D.J. Price, S. Dogan & A. King, ApJL, 792, article id. L33 (2014)

Giant outbursts in Be/X-ray binaries, R.G. Martin, C. Nixon, P.J. Armitage, S.H. Lubow & D.J. Price, ApJL, 790, article id. L34 (2014)

Distinguishing an ejected blob from alternative flare models at the Galactic centre with GRAVITY, F.H. Vincent, T. Paumard, G. Perrin, P. Varniere, F. Casse, F. Eisenhauer, S. Gillessen & P.J. Armitage, MNRAS, 441, 3477 (2014)

Efficiency of particle trapping in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks, J.B. Simon & P.J. Armitage, ApJ, 784, article id. 15 (2014)

A mechanism for hysteresis in black hole binary state transitions, M.C. Begelman & P.J. Armitage, ApJL, 782, article id. L18 (2014)

Convergence of simulations of self-gravitating accretion discs II, W.K.M. Rice, S.-J. Paardekooper, D.H. Forgan & P.J. Armitage, MNRAS, 438, 1593 (2014)

Books, reviews and notes
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 intended for introductory graduate students 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