We present a brief review of the basic properties of white dwarf atmospheres) convection zones and corona models emphasizing qualitative and intuitive aspects.
1. Atmospheres: We restrict our discussion essentially to very hot and very cool atmospheres since these are especially interesting. With regard to the first type of objects we study the fundamental differences between DA and non-DA models and between their surface fluxes. We discuss the important role of electron scattering in determining the EUV spectra of these objects. The differences between DAs and non-DAs with regard to backwarming effect and surface cooling are summarized.
In our discussion of very cool non-DA atmospheres we emphasize the importance of the additional energy transport mechanisms convection and conduction which should both be very effective for Teff < 4000K and which lead to a very flat temperature gradient. This small gradient must lead to a rather featureless surface flux.
2. Convection Zones. After a survey of the basic numerical results in this field we investigate the question whether convection in white dwarfs has the same basic properties as convection in other stars. We find that contrary to intuitive expectations the Rayleigh number in very cool non-DAs is higher than in the sun (indicating very turbulent convection). The Prandtl number in these objects is 6 to 7 orders of magnitude higher than in the sun.
3. Coronae. The basic methods of the calculation of coronae for white dwarfs are very briefly discussed. We present some results for DA and non-DA stars from unpublished work by D.O. Muchmore and the author. It uses revised values for the emissivities. Only non-DA coronae are of practical interest. DA coronae have much lower densities and temperatures. White dwarf coronae do not generate a stellar wind.