Implications of a Temperature-dependent Initial Mass Function. I. Photometric Template Fitting


A universal stellar initial mass function (IMF) should not be expected from theoretical models of star formation, but little conclusive observational evidence for a variable IMF has been uncovered. In this paper, a parameterization of the IMF is introduced into photometric template fitting of the COSMOS2015 catalog. The resulting best-fit templates suggest systematic variations in the IMF, with most galaxies exhibiting top-heavier stellar populations than in the Milky Way. At fixed redshift, only a small range of IMFs are found, with the typical IMF becoming progressively top-heavier with increasing redshift. Additionally, subpopulations of ULIRGs, quiescent and star- forming galaxies are compared with predictions of stellar population feedback and show clear qualitative similarities to the evolution of dust temperatures.