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Asteroid Collisions

Student Sam Van Kooten and Professor Larry Molnar, Calvin College
Tuesday, March 27 SB110

The process of asteroid collisions is one of the most important processes shaping our solar system. In the early solar system it led to accretion of planets. Today it erodes the larger asteroids into ever smaller ones. How does one model a collision physically? And how can we test the conclusions of such a model? To answer these questions, one must first compute the frequency of collisions and compare it to the frequency of competing processes. We will present the state-of-the-art on these questions, and lay out our plans to carry out rigorous tests of model collisions.




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