(Fall - 2009)
Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter - Senior Faculty Fellow (2010)
Doctorate, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (PhD 2001-Physics)
Max-Planck-Institut Doctoral Fellow, Gottingen, Germany (1994-1995).
Graduate of University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California (B.S. 1989-Physics).
Graduate of Don Bosco Technical Institute, Rosemead, California (High School 1983, A.S. 1985-Drafting/Design)
Raised in Downey, California 1970-1985
Born May 13, 1966: Potsdam, New York
Back to top
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
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 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
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.
Back to top