A project funded by the European Research Council


Revealing the dynamics of planet forming discs by linking state-of-the-art numerical models to high resolution observations

Our goal

Understand the environment of planet formation starting from first principle (astro)physics.

Astrophysical processes

We consider several astrophysical processes involved in the dynamics of gas and dust around young stars: magneto-hydrodynamics, chemistry & radiative transfer

Numerical computations

Because the physical processes are complex, coupled and often highly-nonlinear, high performance computations are usually required. A specific cluster dedicated to the project is therefore hosted by Université Grenoble Alpes.


In order to test our models and predictions, comparison to observations are performed with data obtained from ALMA and VLT

Find out more about mhdiscs

Why this project?

Circumstellar discs are the birthplaces of planets. They form around young protostars and dissipate in a few million years. Modern submillimeter and optical telescopes such as ALMA and VLT/SPHERE are now able to resolve thin structures in the bulk of these objects, such as rings, crescents, spirals and winds, probing the very origin of planetary systems similar to our own. Our current understanding of these discs relies on a very crude modelling of a hypothetic magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence thought to play an essential role in the evolution and structure of these systems. However, there is now compelling theoretical and observational evidence that these discs are weakly turbulent, if not laminar, because of their low ionisation fraction and thus poor coupling to the magnetic field. This suggests that subtle MHD processes are driving the dynamics of these objects.

meet our TEAM

Our experts

Geoffroy Lesur

Principal investigator
CNRS Researcher, IPAG

Benoît Cerutti

Particle in cell expert
CNRS Researcher, IPAG

Jonathan Ferreira

Jet & wind expert
Professor, Université Grenoble Alpes

Matthew Kunz

Plasma Physics expert
Professor, Princeton University

Sébastien Maret

Astrochemistry expert
CNRS Researcher, IPAG

François Ménard

Dust observation expert
CNRS Researcher, IPAG

Christophe Pinte

Radiative transfer expert
ARC Future Fellow, Monash Univ.

Our engineers, postdocs and students

Soufiane Baghdadi

Code Developement
GPU / Research engineer, IPAG

Etienne Martel

Jet Modeling, transition discs
PhD student, IPAG

Clément Robert

Vortex formation, Dust dynamics
Postdoc, IPAG

Gaylor Wafflard-Fernandez

Planet formation and migration
Postdoc, IPAG

Project news

Post-doctoral in modelling of protoplanetary disks

Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble, France  is looking for a candidate for a “post-doctoral” position for a period of 3 years from October 2020.The candidate will be assigned…

Calculation engineer for the MHDiscs Project

The IPAG laboratory in Grenoble is looking for a candidate for a 2 years renewable position as a calculation engineer starting January 1st, 2020. The candidate will be assigned to…

MHDiscs cluster now in production

The cluster bought specifically for the project is now fully operative and ready to perform parallel calculations for the project. It is integrated in the Dahu infrastructure hosted by the…

A beginning

On Sept 1st 2019, the MHDiscs project started, hiring one PhD student and one postdoc. Etienne Martel, our new PhD student will work on transition discs. These peculiar discs are…

Numerical simulations

Dynamics matters

Because we now have access to observations with exquisite precision, we need to accurately model the dynamics of these discs. This implies both including more physics in the models (heating processes, plasma conductivities), but also more complex computations which relies on large-scale parallel simulations. 

+ 70 Tflop/s
Accessible on site
1 cpus
Cluster dedicated to the project

Get in touch

Want to Join the team? Want to know more about our work? 

Contact us, or come to see us at IPAG, Grenoble

Contact us