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Big vs Small: What Is the Mass of the First Stars?

  • Volker Bromm; Anna Frebel; Stefania Salvadori .


Light from stars is one of the main tools that aids in the exploration of the Universe through cosmic time. To do so a good understanding of the properties of stars in particular their masses and luminosities is required. Detailed measurements of individual stars close to us suggest that the probability of stars having a given mass is universal and independent of the environment. In contrast observations of galaxies during the early epochs of the Universe indicate a possible change to this universal probability towards massive stars being more likely for the first generation of stars.

Theoretical calculations and computer simulations predict that the first generation of stars forming from gas that is mainly of primordial composition and not enriched by heavy elements could be tens to hundred times as massive than typical stars we see around us. Such stars are very short-lived and extinct in the local Universe. Observational surveys are hunting for low mass, long lived stars with primordial compositions that would challenge the idea of a massive first generation of stars. In this Higgs Summer Forum we will discuss the pros and cons toward a massive first generation of stars from a theoretical and observational point led by imminent researchers in the field.

Please join Prof. Volker Bromm (Texas at Austin), Prof. Anna Frebel (MIT) and Prof. Stefania Salvadori (Florence) for this year’s Higgs Centre Summer Forum.

Related research groups

Big vs Small: What Is the Mass of the First Stars?




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