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Keywords:

  • diffusion;
  • magnetic fields;
  • stars: formation;
  • stars: luminosity function, mass function;
  • ISM: clouds;
  • ISM: individual: Orion

ABSTRACT

We show that the ambipolar-diffusion–initiated fragmentation of molecular clouds leads simply and naturally to an initial core mass function (CMF) which is very similar to the initial stellar mass function (IMF) and is in excellent agreement with existing observations. This agreement is robust provided that the three (input) free parameters remain within their range of values suggested by observations. Other, observationally testable, predictions are made.