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On the mass distribution law of systems of protocluster fragments


Starting from the hypothesis of coalescence through inelastic collisions of small fastmoving interstellar gas clouds, an attempt has been made to study the evolutionary mass distribution of a system of fragments simulating a protocluster. The assumption of a mass spectrum with a continuous injection of newly formed entities into the primeval system, and the condition of gravitational reduction of the impact cross-section, have been considered. Comparisons of numerical experiments with the mass spectrum in some well-known young galactic clusters, confirm the mass distribution power-law already obtained by other authors. The empirical Schmidt's law concerning the rate of star formation is also confirmed. The hypothesis of the universal validity of the luminosity function, should not be ‘a priori’ rejected.

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Ferraioli, F., Virgopia, N. On the mass distribution law of systems of protocluster fragments. Astrophys Space Sci 60, 277–295 (1979).

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  • Mass Spectrum
  • Numerical Experiment
  • Mass Distribution
  • Star Formation
  • Inelastic Collision