Institution(s): 1. University of Western Ontario
The recent generation of highly efficient broadband spectropolarimeters (both low and high-resolution instruments) such as MuSiCoS (TBL), FORS (ESO-Paranal), UAGS and MSS (SAO), ESPaDOnS (CFHT), NARVAL (TBL), and HARPSpol (ESO-La Silla) have revolutionised the detection and study of stellar magnetic fields.
With these instruments magnetic fields have been detected in most of the major stages of stellar evolution. Dynamo field (apparently generated by the action of a current dynamo, as in the Sun) are found in T Tau stars, rapidly rotating lower main sequence stars (both single stars and close binaries), red giants, and AGB stars. Fossil fields (fields retained from an earlier stage of evolution) are found in a few pre-main sequence Herbig AeBe stars, in roughly 10% of all A, B and O main sequence stars, and in white dwarfs and neutron stars.
From these results a global view of the occurence of magnetism in stars is beginning to emerge. Furthermore, we are understanding better the role of magnetic fields in transport of angular momentum within and around stars, the effects of fields on transport of chemical elements, and the ways in which fields are related to surface activity and winds. However, understanding of how fields arise in stars, how they evolve as the underlying stars evolve, and how they affect stellar evolution, is still very incomplete.
This talk will survey very broadly the emerging view of stellar magnetism.