3 years ago

Initial Mass Function Variability (or not) Among \\ Low-Velocity Dispersion, Compact Stellar Systems.

Pieter van Dokkum, Jean Brodie, Alexa Villaume, Charlie Conroy, Aaron J. Romanowsky

Analyses of strong gravitational lenses, galaxy-scale kinematics, and absorption line stellar population synthesis (SPS) have all concluded that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) varies within the massive early-type galaxy (ETG) population. However, the physical mechanism that drives variation in the IMF is an outstanding question. Here we use new SPS models to consider a diverse set of compact, low-velocity dispersion stellar systems: globular clusters (GCs), an ultra-compact dwarf (UCD), and the compact elliptical (cE) galaxy M32. We compare our results to massive ETGs and available dynamical measurements. We find that the GCs have stellar mass-to-light ratios (M/L) that are either consistent with a Kroupa IMF or are slightly bottom-light while the UCD and cE have mildly elevated M/L. The separation in derived IMFs for systems with similar metallicities and abundance patterns indicates that our SPS models can distinguish abundance and IMF effects. Variation among the sample in this paper is only $\sim 50\%$ in normalized M/L compared to the $\sim 4\times$ among the ETG sample. This suggests that metallicity is not the sole driver of IMF variability and additional parameters need to be considered.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.11144

DOI: arXiv:1710.11144v1

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.