When this book was published in 2006, it had been just over ten years since the first planet outside our solar system was detected. Since then, much work has focused on understanding how extrasolar planets may form, and discovering the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-like planets. This volume addresses fundamental questions concerning the formation of planetary systems in general, and of our solar system in particular. Drawing from advances in observational, experimental and theoretical research, it summarises our understanding of the planet formation processes, and addresses major open questions and research issues. Chapters are written by leading experts in the field of planet formation and extrasolar planet studies. The book is based on a meeting held at Ringberg Castle in Bavaria, where experts gathered together to present and exchange their ideas and findings. It is a comprehensive resource for graduate students and researchers, and is written to be accessible to newcomers to the field.
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