The emergence of the galactic stellar mass function from a non-universal IMF in clusters
Astronomy and Astrophysics
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We investigate the dependence of a single-generation galactic mass function (SGMF) on variations in the initial stellar mass functions (IMF) of stellar clusters. We show that cluster-to-cluster variations of the IMF lead to a multi-component SGMF where each component in a given mass range can be described by a distinct power-law function. We also show that a dispersion of ? 0.3 M? in the characteristic mass of the IMF, as observed for young Galactic clusters, leads to a low-mass slope of the SGMF that matches the observed Galactic stellar mass function even when the IMFs in the low-mass end of individual clusters are much steeper.