Spectropolarimetric survey of hydrogen-rich white dwarf stars
Schmidt, Gary D.
Wickramasinghe, Dayal T.
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We have conducted a survey of 61 southern white dwarfs searching for magnetic fields using Zeeman spectropolarimetry. Our objective is to obtain a magnetic field distribution for these objects and, in particular, to find white dwarfs with weak fields. We found one possible candidate (WD 0310-688) that may have a weak magnetic field of -6.1 ±2.2 kG. Next, we determine the fraction and distribution of magnetic white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and investigate the probability of finding more of these objects based on the current incidence of magnetism in white dwarfs within 20 pc of the Sun. We have also analyzed the spectra of the white dwarfs to obtain effective temperatures and surface gravities.