AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 29 Planetary Systems and Origins of Planetary Bodies
Oral, Monday, January 10, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Town and Country

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[29.04] From the Cradle to Limbo: A Bayesian Study of the Brown Dwarf Mass Function

P.R. Allen (University of Pennsylvania)

I performed a comprehensive study of the mass distribution of brown dwarfs, as companions, in young clusters and the field. Using low-mass star and brown dwarf evolutionary models, with assumptions on the mass and age distributions of brown dwarfs, I produced artificial luminosity functions for comparison to data. I compiled data from the literature on luminosity functions for young clusters and the field and surveys for companions. I have also observed a large sample of late-M and L dwarfs for companions. None were found. I developed a highly versatile statistical analysis method using a Bayesian approach to quantitatively compare my models to the data. My results demonstrate that the current data are not enough to constrain the mass distribution of brown dwarfs. Furthermore, I show that the companion distribution of brown dwarfs is fundamentally different from that of higher mass stars.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pallen@hep.upenn.edu

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.