Monday, November 28, 2011 - 11:00am
"The clustered formation of Population III stars"
Abstract. Over the past ten years, beginning with the ground-breaking work of Abel et al. (2000, 2002) and Bromm et al. (1999, 2002), a consensus has developed within the astrophysical community that the first stars, the so-called Population III stars, were very massive, with masses lying somewhere within the range of 10 to 1000 solar masses. However, a number of recent studies have cast doubt on this conclusion, and indicate that gravitational fragmentation within primordial gas is much more common than previously appreciated. These studies suggest that rather than forming as isolated massive stars, most Population III stars may instead form as part of dense clusters, containing stars with a wide range of masses. In this talk, I will review these studies and what they imply for our picture of star formation in the early Universe.