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Kevin Riggs

Professor and Chair of Physics; Pre-Engineering Advisor

Kevin Riggs specializes in research on magnetic materials useful for magnetic recording and information storage. His most recent work has been based on a technique called magnetic force microscopy (a relative of atomic force microscopy) that enables the direct imaging of microscopic magnetic patterns. He also has an active research program using laser-based holographic techniques to image the vibration patterns of various musical instruments.

Riggs teaches several courses in the physics department, including many of the advanced courses for physics majors. However, he especially enjoys interacting with students from a wide range of backgrounds in both his general education course on musical acoustics titled the Science of Music, and his freshman seminar course titled Energy and the Environment. In his spare time, Riggs enjoys playing guitar in a Stetson faculty jazz quintet called Thin Film Magnetism.


  • Ph.D., physics, University of Minnesota
  • M.S., physics, Case Western Reserve University
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin

Course Topics

  • Energy and the Environment
  • The Science of Music
  • Optics
  • Electronics
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Advanced Laboratory Techniques
  • Quantum Mechanics I
  • Physics Colloquium
  • Advanced Laboratory Techniques
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Quantum Mechanics II
  • Senior research sequence

Research Interests

  • Time average holography and TV holography (also known as Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry (ESPI))
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • Transport properties of magnetic materials - magnetoresistance, hall effect


  • K.T. Riggs, E.D. Dahlberg and G.A. Prinz, "First-Order Magnetic Field Induced Phase Transition in Epitaxial Iron Films Studied by Magnetoresistance," Phys. Rev. B41, 7088 (1990)
  • Eric Fullerton, K. T. Riggs, C. H. Sowers, S. D. Bader and A. Berger, "Supression of biquadratic coupling in Fe/Cr(001) superlattices below the Neel transition of Cr," Phys. Rev. Lett., 75, 330 (1995)
  • Kevin Riggs and Nathaniel Fortune, "A Lack of Support: A Survey of the Support Staff Situation in Physics/Astronomy Departments," CUR-Quarterly 24, 70 (2003)

Kevin Riggs

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