The Birth Mass Function of Population III Stars

Muhammad A. Latif, Daniel Whalen, Sadegh Khochfar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Population III stars ended the cosmic dark ages and began early cosmological reionization and chemical enrichment. However, in spite of their importance to the evolution of the early universe, their properties remain uncertain because of the limitations on previous numerical simulations and the lack of any observational constraints. Here, we investigate Population III star formation in five primordial halos using 3D radiation-hydrodynamical cosmological simulations. We find that multiple stars form in each minihalo and that their numbers increase over time, with up to 23 stars forming in one of the halos. Radiative feedback from the stars generates strong outflows, deforms the surrounding protostellar disk, and delays star formation for a few thousand years. Star formation rates vary with halo, and depend on the mass accretion onto the disk, the halo spin number, and the fraction of massive stars in the halo. The stellar masses in our models range from 0.1-37 M o˙, and of the 55 stars that form in our models, 12 are >10 M o˙ and most of the others are 1-10 M o˙. Our simulations thus suggest that Population III stars have characteristic masses of 1-10 M o˙ and top-heavy initial mass functions with dN/dM . Up to 70% of the stars are ejected from their disks by three-body interactions that, along with ionizing UV feedback, limit their final masses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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