I review the advantages, techniques, and results of measurement of magnetic fields on cool stars in the infrared (IR). These measurements have generated several important results, including the following: the first data on the magnetic parameters of dMe and RS CVn variables; evidence for field strength confinement by photospheric gas pressure; support for the correlation between magnetic flux and rotation, with possible saturation at high rotation rates; indications of horizontal and/or vertical magnetic field structure; and evidence of spatial variations in B over a stellar surface. I discuss these results in detail, and suggest future directions for IR magnetic field research.
AbstractThis review is an attempt to elucidate MHD phenomena relevant for stellar magnetic fields. The full MHD treatment of a star is a problem which is numerically too demanding. Mean-field dynamo models use an approximation of the dynamo action from the small-scale motions and deliver global magnetic modes which can be cyclic, stationary, axisymmetric, and non-axisymmetric. Due to the lack of a momentum equation, MHD instabilities are not visible in this picture. However, magnetic instabilities must set in as a result of growing magnetic fields and/or buoyancy. Instabilities deliver new timescales, saturation limits and topologies to the system probably providing a key to the complex activity features observed on stars.
Past study of the large-scale consequences of forced small-scale motions in electrically conducting fluids has led to the ‘α-effect’ dynamos. Various linear kinematic aspects of these dynamos have been explored, suggesting their value in the interpretation of observed planetary and stellar magnetic fields. However, large-scale magnetic fields with global boundary conditions can not be force free and in general will cause large-scale motions as they grow. I n this paper the finite amplitude behaviour of global magnetic fields and the large-scale flows induced by them in rotating systems is investigated. In general, viscous and ohmic dissipative mechanisms both play a role in determining the amplitude and structure of the flows and magnetic fields which evolve. In circumstances where ohmic loss is the principal dissipation, it is found that determination of a geo- strophic flow is an essential part of the solution of the basic stability problem. Nonlinear aspects of the theory include flow amplitudes which are independent of the rotation and a total magnetic energy which is directly proportional to the rotation. Constant a is the simplest example exhibiting the various dynamic balances of this stabilizing mechanism for planetary dynamos. A detailed analysis is made for this case to determine the initial equilibrium of fields and flows in a rotating sphere.