Proceedings of the Workshop on Magnetic Fields and Accretion

Held at the
Astrophysical Theory Centre, Australian National University
12-13 November 1998


It has been clear for many years now that the process of accretion on to a compact object is largely dominated by magnetic fields. The magnetic field channels the accretion flow onto strongly magnetized stars such as magnetic white dwarfs (cataclysmic variables), and neutron stars (accreting X-ray pulsars). Magnetic fields are likely to govern transport processes in accretion discs, and may give rise to collimated outflows in the form of jets. Additionally, the strong field close to the surface of compact stars influences the microphysical emission processes themselves. Explaining the wealth of observations being collected on accreting objects poses a formidable challenge to theoretical astrophysicists.

Since several research groups in Australia are working on problems related to magnetic accretion, the ANUATC organised its 1998 annual Theory Workshop around this subject. The next three papers summarise the three main topics of the meeting: accretion onto magnetic white dwarfs, magnetic fields in accretion discs and a collection of issues relating specifically to the X-ray pulsar GX1+4.

The organisers would like to thank all participants for their contribution to what we consider to have been a very focussed and succesful workshop, and special thanks go to Michelle Storey for her help in publishing these proceedings.

Martijn de Kool

Michelle Storey (rcfta)