The rotation - Lithium depletion correlation in the beta Pictoris association and the LDB age determination
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There is evidence in the 125-Myr Pleiades cluster, and more recently in the 5-Myr NGC 2264 cluster, that rotation plays a key role in the Lithium (Li) depletion processes among low-mass stars. Fast rotators appear to be less Li-depleted than equal-mass slow rotators. We intend to explore the existence of a Li depletion - rotation connection among the beta Pictoris members at an age of about 24 Myr, and to use such correlation either to confirm or to improve the age estimate based on the Lithium Depletion Boundary (LDB) modeling. We have photometrically monitored all the known members of the beta Pictoris association with at least one Lithium equivalent width (Li EW) measurement from the literature. We measured the rotation periods of 30 members for the first time and retrieved from the literature the rotation periods for other 36 members, building a catalogue of 66 members with measured rotation period and Li EW. We find that in the 0.3 < M < 0.8 Msun range, there is a strong correlation between rotation and Li EW. For higher mass stars, no significant correlation is found. For very low mass stars in the Li depletion onset, at about 0.1 Msun, data are too few to infer a significant correlation. The observed Li EWs are compared with those predicted by the Dartmouth stellar evolutionary models that incorporate the effects of magnetic fields. After decorrelating the Li EW from the rotation period, we find that the hot side of the LDB is fitted well by Li EW values corresponding to an age of 25$\pm$3 Myr in good agreement with independent estimates from the literature.