Discerning the form of the dense core mass function.
SWIFT J.J. and BEAUMONT C.N.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the ability to discern between lognormal and power-law forms for the observed mass function of dense cores in star-forming regions. After testing our fitting, goodness-of-fit, and model selection procedures on simulated data, we apply our analysis to 14 data sets from the literature. Whether the core mass function has a power-law tail or whether it follows a pure lognormal form cannot be distinguished from current data. From our simulations it is estimated that data sets from uniform surveys containing more than cores with a completeness limit below the peak of the mass distribution are needed to definitively discern between these two functional forms. We also conclude that the width of the core mass function may be more reliably estimated than the power-law index of the high mass tail and that the width may also be a more useful parameter in comparing with the stellar initial mass function to deduce the statistical evolution of dense cores into stars.