The relationship between the prestellar core mass function and the stellar initial mass function
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK e-mail: S.Goodwin@sheffield.ac.uk
2 School of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queens Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
3 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 2 November 2007
Stars form from dense molecular cores, and the mass function of these cores (the CMF) is often found to be similar to the form of the stellar initial mass function (IMF). This suggests that the form of the IMF is the result of the form of the CMF. However, most stars are thought to form in binary and multiple systems, therefore the relationship between the IMF and the CMF cannot be trivial. We test two star formation scenarios – one in which all stars form as binary or triple systems, and one in which low-mass stars form in a predominantly single mode. We show that from a log-normal CMF, similar to those observed, and expected on theoretical grounds, the model in which all stars form as multiples gives a better fit to the IMF.
Key words: stars: formation / ISM: clouds / binaries: general
© ESO, 2008