Implications of the Jeans mass

The minimum mass for the spontaneous collapse of a gas cloud is the Jeans mass. For low temperatures and high densities, this jeans mass is greater than the mass of a typical star. What are the implications of the fact that the Jeans masses of most clouds are larger than the masses of most stars?

• – dmckee Feb 1 '14 at 17:13

$$M_J = \left(\frac{5kT}{Gm}\right)^{3/2} \sqrt{\frac{3}{4\pi\rho}}$$
The important point to note if that the Jean's mass is proportional to $T^{3/2}$ and $\rho^{-1/2}$. As the cloud collapses its density increases, but the temperature stays roughly constant. It may seem odd that the temperature stays constant - the reason is that the cloud does not scatter IR light so it can cool efficiently.