R. Helled (Tel-Aviv University, Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Ramat Aviv, Israel),
P. Bodenheimer (UCSC, Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, United States),
Y. Alibert (Univeristy of Bern, Space Research and Planetary Sciences, Switzerland),
M. Podolak (Tel-Aviv University, Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Israel),
S. Nayakshin (University of Leicester, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, United Kingdom),
A. Boley (University of British Columbia, Canada),
A. Boss (Carnegie Institution for Science, Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism, United States),
J. Fortney (UCSC, Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, United States),
F. Meru (ETH, Institute for Astronomy, Switzerland),
L. Mayer (University of Zurich, Institute for Theoterical Physics, Switzerland)

The large number of detected extrasolar giant planets offers the opportunity to improve our understanding of the formation mechanism, evolution, and interior structure of gas giant planets. The two main models for giant planet formation are known as core accretion and disk instability. There are substantial differences between these formation models, including formation timescale, favorable formation location, ideal disk properties for planetary formation, early evolution, planetary composition, etc. First, we summarize the two models including their substantial differences, advantages, and disadvantages. We present the predicted planetary composition in each model, and suggest how theoretical models should be connected to available (and future) data. We next summarize current knowledge of the internal structures of solar- and extrasolar- giant planets. Finally, we suggest the next steps to be taken in solar and extrasolar giant planet exploration.

back to the program