Young massive star clusters: achievements and challenges

Richard De Grijs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


In spite of significant recent and ongoing research efforts, most of the early evolution and long-term fate of young massive star clusters remain clouded in uncertainties. Here, I discuss our understanding of the initial conditions of star cluster formation and the importance of initial substructure for the subsequent dynamical-evolution and mass-segregation timescales. I also assess our current understanding of the (initial) binary fraction in star clusters and the shape of the stellar initial mass function at the low-mass end in the low-metallicity environment of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Finally, I question the validity of our assumptions leading to dynamical cluster mass estimates. I conclude that it seems imperative that observers, modellers and theorists combine efforts and exchange ideas and data freely for the field to make a major leap forward.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStar clusters
Subtitle of host publicationbasic galactic building blocks throughout time and space
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • stellar dynamics
  • methods: N-body simulations
  • binaries: general
  • stars: luminosity function
  • mass function
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • galaxies: star clusters
  • Magellanic Clouds


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