EPoS Contribution
EPoS Contribution
The Salpeter Slope of the IMF Explained

Sally Oey
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
If we accept a paradigm that star formation is a self-similar, hierarchical process, then the Salpeter slope of the IMF for high-mass stars can be simply and elegantly explained as follows. If the instrinsic IMF at the smallest scales follows a simple -2 power-law slope, then the steepening to the -2.35 Salpeter value results from fact that the most massive stars cannot form in the lowest-mass clumps. It is stressed that this steepening must occur if the lowest-mass clumps can form stars. This model is consistent with a variety of observations as well as theoretical simulations.
Key publication