Magnetic Massive Stars
Approximately 10 per cent of massive OBA main-sequence (MS) and pre-MS stars harbour strong, large-scale magnetic fields. At the same time, there is a dearth of magnetic stars in close binaries. A process generating strong magnetic fields only in some stars must be responsible and several channels for the formation of magnetic massive stars have been proposed. In this talk, I will present recent results on the origin and evolution of such strong surface magnetic fields. Regarding the origin, mergers of MS and pre-MS stars have been proposed to form magnetic stars and I will highlight a method to probe this hypothesis observationally. Applying this new method to two magnetic massive stars, we find that they are indeed consistent with being MS merger products. Utilising a large sample of magnetic and non-magnetic OB stars, I will show that there is a dearth of evolved magnetic stars that suggests that magnetic fields disappear over time. I will argue that this is most likely caused by decaying magnetic fields.