From Cores to Stars: The role of Gravity
Service d'Astrophysique, CEA, Saclay, France
Using three-dimensional numerical simulation of isothermal, turbulent, magnetized, and self gravitating molecular clouds, I will show, in agreement with observational evidence, that the steepening of the slope of the core mass function when cores are identified with higher density tracers is a direct result of the increasing importance of gravity in the cores rather than being a product of turbulent fragmentation. Thus, our findings explain the similarity between the dense core mass function and the IMF and the differences between the latter mass spectra with those of gravitationally unbound structures such as CO clumps.
Using semi-analytical modeling, I will then move on to show, how the dense core mass function is modified by several physical processes on its way to the IMF. In protocluster clouds, both the initial dense core mass function and the modifications in which these physical processes affect it will account for the variations of the IMF of stellar clusters in different environments. Understanding the variations of the IMF of clusters is crucial for understanding the clusters mass function and offers exiting futures perspectives for the studies of star formation effects on galactic scales.