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Clump lifetimes and the initial mass function

Clark, Paul ORCID:, Klessen, R. S. and Bonnell, I. A. 2007. Clump lifetimes and the initial mass function. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 379 (1) , pp. 57-62. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11896.x

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Recent studies of dense clumps/cores in a number of regions of low-mass star formation have shown that the mass distribution of these clumps closely resembles the initial mass function (IMF) of field stars. One possible interpretation of these observations is that we are witnessing the fragmentation of the clouds into the IMF, and the observed clumps are bound pre-stellar cores. In this paper, we highlight a potential difficulty in this interpretation, namely that clumps of varying mass are likely to have systematically varying lifetimes. This ‘time-scale’ problem can effectively destroy the similarity between the clump and stellar mass functions, such that a stellar-like clump mass function results in a much steeper stellar IMF. We also discuss some ways in which this problem may be avoided.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: stars: formation; stars: mass function; stars: pre-main-sequence; ISM: clouds
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:45

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