We show that the optical infrared magneto-refractive effect can be used to probe magneto-resistance effects in absolute terms. A spin valve sample with synthetic anti-ferromagnet has been studied using non-contact infrared reflection spectroscopy measurements. Direct experimental comparison shows excellent agreement between electrical and optical measurements in both shape of the magneto-resistance curves and absolute values. This opens the possibility of developing fast and efficient tests of magneto-resistive samples and sensors using an in situ, non-contact, non-destructive optical approach, without the need to determine a calibration factor between the electrical and optical measurements.

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