John Kerr (physicist)

John Kerr ( born December 17, 1824 in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, † 18 August 1907 in Glasgow ) was a Scottish physicist.

Life and work

In 1857, he was a mathematics teacher in Glasgow. In 1875, he discovered a change in the refractive index, which is caused by the application of an electric field to certain materials ( electro-optical Kerr effect).

In 1876, he discovered the rotation of the polarization plane of the light, which is reflected on the ferromagnetic metal surfaces. This is now known as magneto-optical Kerr effect.

On the basis of the electro-optical Kerr effect, he developed the Kerr cell.

  • Physicist (19th Century )
  • Member of the Royal Society
  • Briton
  • Scotsman
  • Born in 1824
  • Died in 1907
  • Man