Rapid dynamical mass segregation and properties of fractal star clusters

Jincheng Yu*, Richard de Grijs, Li Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the evolution of young star clusters using N-body simulations. We confirm that subvirial and fractal-structured clusters will dynamically mass segregate on a short timescale (within 0.5 Myr). We adopt a modified minimum-spanning-tree method to measure the degree of mass segregation, demonstrating that the stars escaping from a cluster's potential are important for the temporal dependence of mass segregation in the cluster. The form of the initial velocity distribution will also affect the degree of mass segregation. If it depends on radius, the outer parts of the cluster would expand without undergoing collapse. In velocity space, we find "inverse mass segregation," which indicates that massive stars have higher velocity dispersions than their lower-mass counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • methods: numerical
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics


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