**AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000**

*Session 79. Young Stars and Clusters*

Display, Friday, January 14, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall
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## [79.12] A statistical comparison of the Initial Mass Function of young embedded clusters.

*B. Ali (IPAC / Caltech)*

In this contribution, a stellar Initial Mass Function (IMF)
diagnostic is presented based on the Number-Ratios (NRs) of
stars in three luminosity bins. The bins are centered at
absolute K-band magnitudes of 1.5, 3 and 5 mag, and are 1
mag wide. Two NRs are calculated: R1, based on the two high
luminosity bins, and R2, based on the two low luminosity
bins. Theoretical Luminosity Functions, LFs, (for a given
IMF and a set of pre-main sequence evolutionary tracks) are
used to estimate of the effects of both the underlying IMF
and the ages of cluster members on these NRs. For a given
IMF, the range of values for R1 and R2 are found to be well
constrained for both coeval and non-coeval clusters.
However, significant overlap exists between values derived
from different IMFs. Thus, while the NRs from a single
cluster can be consistent with several different underlying
IMFs, the values from several clusters can nonetheless be
used to investigate: (1) is the IMF of the very young
embedded clusters the same?, and (2) is the IMF of these
clusters consistent with the solar neighbor IMF.

The accuracy of the observed values of R1 and R2 will depend
upon corrections for extinction, excess emission, source
multiplicity and distance modulus to the cluster. In the
presence of these sources of errors, I discuss the minimum
number of clusters needed to carry out this investigation.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address
for comments about the abstract:
babar@ipac.caltech.edu

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