This is the astro-ph blog of the Theoretical Modelling of Cosmic Structures group (TMoX) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. We are an independent Max-Planck Research Group focusing on the various aspects in the formation and evolution of galaxies. Part of our focus is on the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies, super-massive black holes, the formation of the first structures in the universe and the enrichment history of the Universe. We are theoreticians using analytic modelling as well as numerical simulations in our work.

The CosmologyCake blog is dedicated to the discussion of research papers and current developments. We will regularly post interesting papers and comment on them. Feel free to leave your comments as well. We encourage authors of discussed papers to post replies if they wish to. Our aim is to provide a platform to discuss recent astro-ph papers within a wider audience. Please feel free to send papers you would like to be discussed to us at

11 May 2012

Systematic variation of the stellar IMF in early-type galaxies

Authors: Cappellari et al.
Link: here

The authors present results on the shape of the initial mass function of stars in a complete sample of early-type galaxies observed with the integral-field spectroscopy. The novel aspect is that for the first time they manage to disentangle the contribution from dark matter and a changing IMF by detailed dynamical modeling in combination with stellar population modeling. The main result is that they find evidence for an IMF shape that is either top-heavy or bottom-heavy. This is an interesting and important result contributing to the general discussion on a changing IMF in galaxies.

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