July 11-15, 2011
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The most massive stars

Olivier Schnurr (Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam)

Which are the most massive stars, and how massive are they? Although these two questions might seem simple, their answers are still not entirely known. However, they have far-reaching consequences for a number of fundamental astrophysical problems, ranging from star formation and evolution to the re-ionization and chemical evolution of the (early) Universe. In recent years, significant efforts have been undertaken to identify and "weigh" stars of the highest masses, and provided results that are as hot as they are hotly debated within the community. In this review talk, I will summarize the state of very-massive star research, discuss the recent progress made, and address some of the implications of what we think we know so far.
(to be confirmed by the SOC)