DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SQUID magnetometer. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the integrated circuit surface of a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). The SQUID magnetometer is above centre (rectangular), with thin horizontal elements of the induction loop seen at lower frame. These are etched onto the surface of a superconductor. A SQUID magnetometer is the most sensitive detector of magnetic fields. It operates at the supercooled temperature of liquid helium. In medicine, SQUIDs can detect nerve impulses in the brain or heart. They may detect gravity waves from supernovae, or subtle geothermal energy from within the earth. Magnification: x480 at 6x7cm size.
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