Evidence for primordial mass segregation in globular clusters

Baumgardt, Holger, De Marchi, Guido and Kroupa, Pavel (2008) Evidence for primordial mass segregation in globular clusters. Astrophysical Journal, 685 1: 247-253. doi:10.1086/590488

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Author Baumgardt, Holger
De Marchi, Guido
Kroupa, Pavel
Title Evidence for primordial mass segregation in globular clusters
Journal name Astrophysical Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-637X
1538-4357
Publication date 2008-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/590488
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 685
Issue 1
Start page 247
End page 253
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We have studied the dissolution of initially mass-segregated and unsegregated star clusters due to two-body relaxation in external tidal fields, using Aarseth’s collisional N-body code N–BODY4 on GRAPE6 special-purpose computers. When extrapolating results of initially non-mass-segregated models to globular clusters, we obtain a correlation between the time until destruction and the slope of the mass function, in the sense that globular clusters that are closer to dissolution are more strongly depleted in low-mass stars. This correlation fits observed mass functions of most globular clusters. The mass functions of several globular clusters are, however, more strongly depleted in low-mass stars than is suggested by these models. Such strongly depleted mass functions can be explained if globular clusters started initially mass segregated. Primordial mass segregation also explains the correlation between the slope of the stellar mass function and the cluster concentration that was recently discovered by De Marchi and coworkers. In this case, it is possible that all globular clusters started with a mass function similar to that seen in young open clusters in the present-day universe, at least for stars below m = 0.8 M. This argues for a near universality of the mass function for different star formation environments and metallicities in the range –2 < [Fe/H] < 0. We finally describe a novel algorithm that can initialize stationary mass-segregated clusters with an arbitrary density profile and amount of mass segregation.
Keyword Galaxies : star clusters
Methods : n-body simulations
Stars : luminosity function, mass function
Stellar dynamics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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