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Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Space Science

Department

Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Reynolds

Committee Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Fleck, Jr.

Committee Member

Dr. Lance Erickson

Committee Member

Dr. Lance Erickson

Abstract

In order to understand the short-period pile-up of extrasolar planets, the magnetic torque of a pre-main-sequence central star on a single orbiting "hot Jupiter" planet is calculated. The star's magnetic field is modeled as a dipole magnetic field. The time-dependant stellar radius is calculated for four different stellar mass sizes; 2Msum \.5Msum \Msum and 0.5Msurt. The minimum planetary ionization for the giant gas planet to be nearly frozen to the magnetic field lines is calculated. The changing angular momentum of an orbiting body was balanced with the magnetic torque of the central star to provide results which support that the central star is capable of halting the migration of Type II planets. The magnetic braking effect that the planet has on the central star is enough to push out the planet during its inward migration and spin-down the star's angular rotation. This investigation shows that the magnetic torque is a viable mechanism to explain the short period pile-up of many extrasolar planets.

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