A Non-universal IMF in the Milky Way Stellar Clusters

Monday, 10 April 2017 9 a.m. — 10 a.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
SAMI DIB (Assistan Professor Universidad de Atacama, Copiapó and NOAO South Visiting Astronomer)

The universality of the stellar initial mass function (IMF), or lack of it, has important consequences for all branches of modern Astrophysics. In this talk, I will discuss some of the observational evidence for cluster-to-cluster variations of the IMF. I will show that it is possible to infer the shape of the parental distribution for all of the IMF parameters (i.e, the slopes at the low and high mass ends, and the characteristic mass) for the population of young stellar clusters in the Milky Way. The results indicate broad distributions functions for the IMF parameters that are not compatible with the concept of a universal IMF. I will also discuss a few physical processes that can explain some of the observed IMF variations.