Developing a Kerr Microscope for Upper-Division Solid State Physics Laboratories


David Neff


Hector Mireles, Associate Professor of Physics, Cal Poly Pomona

We have constructed a low-cost Kerr microscope for use in our upper-division solid state laboratory course. We developed the instrument by retrofi tting a polarizing microscope, then tested its capacity to image magnetic domains on the surface of polished ferromagnetic samples: Nd-Fe-B and Fe-Si. The instrument serves as a learning platform with which students observe the essential aspects of ferromagnetism, of the magneto-optic Kerr eff ect, and of magnetic domains. By applying a controlled external magnetic field to the sample, students can observe and manipulate magnetic domains in real time with a digital camera. We off er some technical guidance in the development of a Kerr microscope, and outline some of the learning objectives that undergraduates can achieve by using a Kerr microscope in a formal lab curriculum.

Presented by:

David Neff


Saturday, November 23, 2013




Poster Session 2 - Villalobos Hall

Presentation Type:

Poster Presentation


Physics/Astronomy/Planetary Sciences