Contributed paper on
High resolution spectropolarimetry on the VLT

J.-F. Donati, C. Catala, G. Mathys, A. Kaufer, J.-G. Cuby, I. Appenzeller, O. Stahl, A.C. Cameron, I. Howarth

presented at the workshop on ``Scientific Drivers for ESO Future VLT/VLTI Instrumentation'', eds: G. Monnet, J. Bergeron (2002). Springer Verlag, Berlin, p. 238

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We outline here the new and unique science avenues that a high-resolution visible and near infrared spectropolarimeter would allow us to explore. Such an instrument should lead to major advances in our understanding of the physics of stellar interiors, atmospheres and environments, and should provide us in particular with a much more detailed description of how magnetic fields control the very early stages of star formation.