Jacob Bernier

A Day in the Life: FSU Physics major Jacob Bernier makes and measures superconducting materials at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

By Paul Cottle, Florida State University, July 11, 2015


Here's what a day as an undergraduate researcher at FSU's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory might look like for FSU Physics major and Durant High School (in Hillsborough County) grad Jacob Bernier:


First, make some crystals of some material like the high temperature superconductor Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide (it's usually abbreviated YBCO) in powder form.


Then, zap them with X-rays.  Measure the X-rays scattered from the powdered crystals with an X-ray diffractometer.  Then, figure out what the material looks like at the microscopic level by reading the X-ray diffraction pattern.

Simple, right?


Well, no.  It's actually pretty darn complex and sophisticated.  And it takes a talented, industrious student, a great advisor (in this case the Magnet Lab's Dr. Ryan Baumbach), and access to a wide array of state-of-the-art instruments.  The Magnet Lab provides those instruments at a level second to none.

Jacob at work.