Associate Professor, Physics Department 

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Contact Information



Research Interest

Other Interests

(Fall - 2009)Accordion-2009
Contact Information

Cal Poly Pomona
Building 8, Room 229
Phone:    909-869-6730
FAX:      909-869-5090

Mailing Address

Physics Department
3801 West Temple Blvd
Pomona, California 91768


Back to top

Research Interests

Liquid Crystals:  Liquid crystals is a form of soft matter, which has properties similar to liquids but other properties similar to solids.    The birefringent properties of liquid crystals can be exploited with polarized light and light also reacts to the state of the crystal.        I am investigating means of physically moving small colloidal particles suspended in liquid crystals, using incident polarized light.     Current methods, (laser tweezers) require energies several orders of magnitude greater than our methods, as well as far more expensive equipment.    

My work is in collaboratoin with the NSF MRSEC center for Liquid Crystals, located at the Boulder Campus of the University of Colorado.      

Students interested in doing a senior project on liquid crystals, should join me over spring-break 2010 for a sponsored introduction to liquid crystal research are encouraged to apply here.  Funding is available.

Information on spring break 2010 sponsored research intro on Liquid Crystals

Magnetic Microscopy
:   Using a polarized optical microscope, we can image tiny magnetic regions in magnetic materials known as domains.      The size, shape and energy of these domains can define the magnetic properties of a ferromagnetic materials.    The thinner the sample, the more important these domains become in dictating the magnetic behavior.     The microscopy method is possible due to the Kerr effect, a so-called Magneto-Optic property whereby the polarization of incident light is rotated by an amount dependent on the direction of magnetization.    We are currently in the construction phase of a Magnetic Microscopy Laboratory at Cal Poly Pomona, with two Leitz polarizing microscopes equipped with an 11-bit digital imaging/processing capability, mounted on a vibration isolation table for resolutions of the order of a quarter micron.  The laboratory will permit Cal Poly students, together with collaborating laboraries to study the properties of magnetic thin films as well as magneto-optical behavior in general.  

Step-Induced Magnetic Anisotropy:  The presence of steps of various widths on the surface of a W[100] crystal has been found to induce a magnetic anisotropy energy term which competes with terms associated with the bulk and surface terms. These are apparent in the shape of magnetic hysteresis loops from SMOKE (Surface Magneto Optic Kerr Effect) studies. Step Widths on a curved-polished crystal have been mapped out utilizing the splitting of Low Energy Diffraction peeks with a high resolution MCD detector.   This research began as part of my doctoral work at the Erskine Surface Physics Group at the University of Texas at Austin.

First Order Revesal Curve (FORC) studies of Magnetic Reversibility:  The degree to which magntetic materials lose energy and remember their historic magnetic state is an important property, which is being better understood through the numerical analysis of hysteresis curves.     I performed on magnetic multi-layered structures using this method together with researchers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, at the Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados (CIMAV) in Chihuahua Mexico, as well as the Insitut für Festkörper und Werkstofforschung (IFW) in Dresden, Germany.

Back to top


Dr. Mireles is currently on sabbatical from Cal Poly Pomona at Boulder, Colorado and at Dresden, Germany.    He will be teaching again at Cal Poly beginning in September of 2010,.

Back to top

Other Interests:

Contrary to the belief and hope of many of my students, physics does not exist in a vacuum.   The natural laws that dictate the physical world have a great impact on the society that we live in and the activities that we do in that society.  Therefore, learning your physics lessons can help you understand the world better.   Some of it can even make you a better soccer player, musician and dancer.   (Try it!)

A truly renaissance-physicist should occasionally take a respite from his/her lab or chalkboard, to explore the chaotic world outside of the university.      Going to check out the action at the Brea mall TGIF?   A good start..but you can do better.     Here are some of the activities that have helped me to understand our world a little more.   Tell me your own ways... then get back to work on those problems.


London to Lorelei - Summer 2001:   Bicycling through England, Holland and Germany.
Sierra Madre - Spring 2003: The rugged Sierra Madre of Northern, Mexico.


Boulder Bach Festival choir:   (2010)    This choir is dedicated to the performance of the choral music of Bach, and to doing it with perfect German diction.  It turns out, that's not so difficult to do here, since its members come from the astonishingly high concentration of German-Americans in this region of Colorado.
Music at the Cathedral:  (2002 - 2006):       The choir at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown LA, is my musical joy today.
San Antonio Master Singers (2000 - 2002):   A fairly good choir consisting of very large people in a large city that thinks like a small town.
Austin Civic Chorus:   (1996-1999):              Where I got serious about singing, as a tenor section leader in the live music capital of the world..Austin, Texas
St. Jakobi Kontorei:  (1994-1996)                 In this choir in Goettingen, Germany I discovered Verdi, Brahms, Haydn and made lifelong "Kammaraden".


This is really great!  Learning the wonders of the amazing flying machine at Cable Airport flying a Cessna 172!   Interested in flying?  Take a look at the wonderful pages of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)!  It's easy...after's just physics!      


Back to top

Last Revised: 1/14/2010 by