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Paper: Formation and Evolution of Young Massive Clusters
Volume: 388, Mass Loss from Stars and the Evolution of Stellar Clusters
Page: 249
Authors: Elmegreen, B.G.
Abstract: Clusters are the dense inner regions of a wide-spread hierarchy of young stellar structures. They often reveal a continuation of this hierarchy inside of them, to smaller scales, when they are young, but orbital mixing eventually erases these subparts and only a smooth cluster or smooth unbound group remains. The stellar hierarchy follows a similar structure in the interstellar gas, which is presumably scale-free because of supersonic motions in the presence of turbulence and self-gravity. The efficiency of star formation increases automatically with density in a hierarchical ISM, causing most dense stellar groups to be initially bound for local conditions. In lower pressure environments, the infant mortality rates should be higher. Also following from hierarchical structure is the cluster mass distribution function and perhaps also the cluster size distribution function, although the predicted mass-size relation is not observed. Cluster destruction is from a variety of causes. The destruction time should depend on cluster mass, but the various groups who have studied this dependence have gotten significantly different results so far.
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