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Exoplanet atmospheres and interiors

Madhusudhan’s group is interested in characterizing the atmospheres, interiors, and formation conditions of exoplanets. Research in the group involves development of detailed theoretical methods and using observations to constrain the various aspects. A major focus area in the group involves rigorous characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres, including development of new atmospheric modeling and retrieval techniques, and planning and interpretation of spectroscopic observations of various classes of exoplanets: gas giants, ice giants, and super-Earths. Recent results include the first statistically rigorous constraints on chemical compositions and physical processes in a wide variety of exoplanets. A second focus area in the group involves understanding the interiors of Earth-size exoplanets and super-Earths, using detailed internal structure models and observations. Some new directions in this area include understanding new equations of state, mineralogy, and geophysical processes in super-Earth interiors. A third focus area in the group concerns using constraints on compositions of exoplanets to place constraints on planet formation mechanisms and on chemical conditions in planet forming environments.

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