DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SQUID circuit loops. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the integrated circuit surface of a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). Here, induction loops are seen etched onto the surface of a superconductor. A SQUID magnetometer is the most sensitive detector of magnetic fields. It operates typically at the supercooled temperature of liquid helium. Many SQUIDs may be combined in a powerful array. In medicine, SQUIDs can detect nerve impulses in the brain or heart. They are sensitive enough to detect gravity waves from supernovae, or subtle geothermal energy from within the earth. Magnification: x110 at 6x7cm size.
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