The issue of the inner regions of protoplanetary disks (< 1 AU) is a topic of a lot of debate in the scientific community. One of the reasons for this gap in our knowledge is the extreme difficulty to spatially resolve such inner structures. But also, the physics of these inner regions are still poorly understood, due to its complexity. The proximity to the star makes the temperature at these regions high enough (> 1500K) to modify and evaporate the dust grains. There is also evidence for the presence of a hot gas component inward the dust sublimation radius. Nevertheless, no self-consistent physical model could satisfactorily describe the actual distribution of dust and gas at the inner portion of the disks. Motivated by this puzzling scenario, we propose for this post-doctoral work to include the gas phase in the models of (dusty) protoplanetary disks. This can be done by modifying the successful example of decretion disks models of Be stars. The relative simpler case of dustless decretion disks of Be stars serves as ideal laboratories for studying the physics of the disk. The previous well established models of viscous Keplerian disks can be converted into protoplanetary disks by the modification of their boundary conditions. Non-isothermal effects must also be taken into account. For this purpose, it is mandatory to perform 3D-radiative transfer calculations. This will be possible by using Monte Carlo code HDUST (developed by the supervisor), which is to our knowledge the only numerical tool capable of handling both dust and gas in a self-consistent way. As a result, we expect to build a grid of models for a reliable volume in the parameter space. This will allow us not only to directly interpret already existing observations, but also to plan new interferometric observations with AMBER and MIDI (at VLTI) instruments.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: