DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SQUID magnetometer. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the integrated circuit surface of a high-temperature SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). It is etched in a single layer on a high-temperature superconductor. This is the most sensitive detector of magnetic fields. It operates at the relatively high tempe- rature of liquid nitrogen. The horizontal strips are coupled to a pickup loop (not seen). Many SQUIDs may be combined in a powerful array. In medicine, SQUIDs can detect nerve impulses in the brain or heart. They can detect gravity waves from supernovae, or geothermal energy from within the earth. Magnification: x1200 at 6x7 cm size.
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