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Abstract: The fundamental properties of stellar clusters, such as the age or the totalinitial mass in stars, are often inferred from population synthesis models. Thepredicted properties are then used to constrain the physical mechanismsinvolved in the formation of such clusters in a variety of environments.Population synthesis models cannot, however, be applied blindy to such systems.We show that synthesis models cannot be used in the usual straightforward wayto small-mass clusters say, M < few times 10**4 Mo. The reason is that thebasic hypothesis underlying population synthesis a fixed proportionalitybetween the number of stars in the different evolutionary phases is notfulfilled in these clusters due to their small number of stars. This incompletesampling of the stellar mass function results in a non-gaussian distribution ofthe mass-luminosity ratio for clusters that share the same evolutionaryconditions age, metallicity and initial stellar mass distribution function.We review some tests that can be carried out a priori to check whether a givencluster can be analysed with the fully-sampled standard population synthesismodels, or, on the contrary, a probabilistic framework must be used. This leadsto a re-assessment in the estimation of the low-mass tail in the distributionfunction of initial masses of stellar clusters.

Autor: M. Cervino IAA-Csic, D. Valls-Gabaud GEPI

Fuente: https://arxiv.org/

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