College of Science

Cover of American Journal of Physics Features Kerr Microscope by Prof. Hector Mireles

Cover of American Journal of Physics

The paper titled "Developing a Kerr microscope for upper-division solid-state physics laboratories," was published in the June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Physics. It is the Editor's pick for this issue. 

(1) The paper describes the construction and implementation of a Kerr Microscope which is used in Phy431L labs at Cal Poly.  It teaches people how to make their own, and shares our success and tips on how to implement it in courses.

(2) It was built by Dr. Mireles, with help through the years from students.  The most significant contributions came from Adam Attig, Anitol Hoemke, and an Engineering student David Neff.   Adam Attig is in the room-climate business now, and Hoemke is the Physics stockroom/demo manager at Loyola University, in the LA area.

(3) The instrument is capable of viewing magnetic domains in real time, and permits students to explore ferromagnetism, magnetic anisotropy and the Kerr Effect.