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NAM2012 - All Presentation Details

Record 736 of 756

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The effects of stellar and close binary evolution on the present day mass function

Author: Fabian Schneider

Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn

Co-Authors: Robert G. Izzard (Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn) Norbert Langer (Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn)

Session: STA2: Binary Stars: Duplicity is Everywhere

Presentation type: Talk      12:30  Friday 30th 11:45-13:00 


The initial mass function (IMF) governs observable properties of stellar systems, the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium, supernova rates and predicts the outcome of star formation. It is impossible to measure the IMF directly because we can only observe the current mass distribution of stars. We therefore need to understand which systematic effects cause variations in the observed present day mass function (PDMF). We explore the influence of single and binary stellar evolution on the PDMF with a rapid binary evolution code. Stellar wind mass loss, mass transfer because of Roche lobe overflow, stellar mergers and rejuvenation shape the PDMF at the high mass end. The PDMF and the inferred IMF are flattened if binaries cannot be resolved. The most massive stars in a star cluster originate --- in a statistical sense --- from binary interactions if binary stars have enough time to interact efficiently, i.e. if the star cluster has an age of the order of the MS lifetime of its initially most massive stars. The determination of stellar upper-mass limits and ages of star clusters based on the most massive stars are thus biased by binary interactions. We conclude that single and binary stellar evolution must be taken into account to determine the IMF and interpret observations of the stellar content of star clusters correctly.

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