Measuring the stellar Initial Mass Function (IMF) from the spectra of early-type galaxies
The stellar initial mass function (IMF), i.e. the distribution of stellar masses formed in a star formation event, is a key ingredient to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies, and accurately measuring it is crucial. The past decade has seen enormous progress in the determination of the IMF. I will review the spectroscopic approach for measuring this fundamental property that defines so much of astrophysics and will summarise the observational measurements from extragalactic studies.
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Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias