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Keywords:

  • stars: activity;
  • stars: atmospheres;
  • stars: chromospheres;
  • stars: magnetic fields;
  • Sun: atmosphere;
  • Sun: chromosphere;
  • Sun: magnetic fields

Abstract

Astrophysical plasmas and magnetic fields are inextricably coupled to each other. But magnetic fields are elusive; they cannot be fully characterized with standard (spectroscopic) observational techniques. Fortunately, polarisation, the third fundamental property of light, encodes all the quantitative information on the magnetism of the objects we observe. This splinter session brought together the solar and stellar spectropolarimetric communities to discuss some of the fundamental unsolved questions of solar and stellar magnetism and the future of spectropolarimetric observations. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)