R. Alexander (University of Leicester, Department of Physics & Astronomy, United Kingdom),
I. Pascucci (University of Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, United States),
S. Andrews (Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, United States),
P. Armitage (University of Colorado, JILA, United States),
L. Cieza (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile)

The evolution and eventual dispersal of protoplanetary disks play crucial roles in planet formation. Viscous accretion, due to turbulent transport of angular momentum, is the dominant driver of disk evolution in these planet-forming systems. However, it is clear that accretion cannot be responsible for the final dispersal of these disks, as the accretion time-scales in their outer regions are orders of magnitude larger than observed disk lifetimes. Some other mechanism(s) must instead be responsible for clearing protoplanetary disks. The manner and time-scales of disk dispersal have important implications for planet formation, and as disk clearing halts planet migration it also has a strong influence on the final architectures of planetary systems. In this chapter we review the theory and observations which underpin our understanding of protoplanetary disk dispersal, and discuss the consequences of these results for forming planetary systems.

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