Issues in the formation of the solar system

Let's think about how the solar system might have formed.

Some relevant physics principles:

What can happen to a large cloud of gas and dust. Think about

  1. instability;
  2. stability.

A model for the start of the solar system

In a giant cloud of gas and dust, a chance occurance creates a region of high density. This makes the region unstable to gravitational collapse.

As we study the planets, we should think about whether we can deduce consequences of this model that can be tested against what we see in the planets.

One consequence that we have already noted: according to the model, the inner planets should be more dense than the outer planets. That is what we found for Mercury, Earth, and Neptune.

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Davison E. Soper, Institute of Theoretical Science, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403 USA