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Session 86 - Rotating, Modeling and Blue Stars.
Oral session, Wednesday, January 15
A veritable zoo of spectral and chemical peculiarities exists among the A and B stars. Clearly, without a grasp of the responsible physics our understanding of stellar atmospheres in this temperature range must be considered seriously incomplete. Since the most extreme peculiarities are found among the magnetic A and B stars, these objects provide an excellent laboratory in which to study this unknown physics.
The magnetic A and B stars are permeated by kilogauss-strength, approximately poloidal magnetic fields. Since these fields strongly affect the processes which operate in the atmospheres of these stars -- diffusion and concentration of trace elements, nonradial pulsation, the geometry of weak winds etc., modeling them has the potential to provide us with unique constraints on many of these important physical processes. As we obtain and model new kinds of data we are developing a clearer understanding of the role of these fields in the atmospheres of these stars, as well as their origin and their evolution.
In this paper I discuss the magnetic structures which have been detected in the atmospheres of A and B stars, and the observational material from which their existence has been inferred. I conclude by describing a new kind of data which we are just beginning to obtain, which will allow us to take the significant step from the realm of detailed modeling (with all of its a priori assumptions) to full magnetic mapping using Doppler Imaging-type reconstructions.
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