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The role of molecular filaments in the origin of stellar masses

Philippe Andrť
CEA, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique AIM Paris-Saclay, France

The origin of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) is one of the most debated issues in astrophysics. I will discuss new insights into this problem based on a systematic census of prestellar cores and molecular filaments in nearby clouds taken as part of the Herschel Gould Belt survey, as well as higher-resolution observations with APEX/ArTéMiS and ALMA. Our results point to the key role of the quasi-universal filamentary structure pervading molecular clouds. They suggest that the dense cores making up the peak of the prestellar core mass function (CMF) - and indirectly the peak of the IMF - result from gravitational fragmentation of molecular filaments near the critical mass per unit length. The Salpeter power-law tail of the CMF/IMF may be at least partly inherited from the filament line mass function (FLMF), which is observed to follow a Salpeter-like power law in the regime of thermally supercritical filaments. Overall, our observational findings support a filament paradigm for star formation and the IMF.

2021 February 17, 13:30

Online broadcast (Zoom)

Instituto de Astrof√≠sica e Ci√™ncias do Espa√ßo Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia