Astrophysics (index)

Initial Mass Function

(IMF)
(function describing initial mass of stars)

The Initial Mass Function (IMF) is an empirical density/mass-style function that describes the distribution of initial masses of stars. It is typically given as N(m)dm.

  • m - mass of a star.
  • N(m) - number of stars at that mass.

Edwin Salpeter developed an early IMF in 1955, the Salpeter function:

N(m)dm = C × (m/MSun)-2.35(dm/MSun)

C is a constant reflecting local stellar density.

The IMF can be derived from the Luminosity Function (LF) and the Mass-Luminosity Relation.


(model,relation,stars,mass,function)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initial_mass_function
http://jila.colorado.edu/~pja/astr3830/lecture06.pdf

Referenced by:
Dense Core Mass Function (DCMF)
Power Law
Stellar Population Synthesis Code

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