Searching for the Bottom of the Initial Mass Function

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will support an observational survey to find lowest mass objects formed in areas of recent star formation. A principal goal is to uncover the initial mass function (IMF), which is the distribution of stellar/substellar objects over mass. This will be done through analysis of optical and infrared photometry from wide-field surveys and followup spectroscopy of candidate substellar objects (brown dwarfs and planetary-mass objects) identified in those data.

The project is expected to (1) test theories of star formation, which make different predictions for the minimum mass of the IMF and its dependence on star-forming conditions; (2) constrain the possible mechanisms for the formation of planetary-mass companions; and (3) enable estimates of the frequency of giant planets that have been ejected from planetary systems based on microlensing detections of free-floating Jupiter-mass bodies.

Effective start/end date9/1/122/28/17


  • National Science Foundation: $279,607.00


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