Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Superconducting sensor helps detecting gravitation waves

15.01.2003


To be able to detect gravitation waves in space, physicist have to measure truly minimal displacements: ten billion times smaller than the size of an atom. An improved superconducting sensor is a suitable candidate for this job, Martin Podt of the University of Twente now states in his PhD thesis. He has improved the sensitivity of a so-called ‘SQUID’ in way that it can be combined with a large ball-shaped gravitation detector. Podt succeeds in this by improving the sensitivity. He integrates the sensor with electronics and lowers the operating temperature. He is defending his Phd thesis on January 17, within the Faculty of Science of the University of Twente, The Netherlands.



Gravitation waves, ‘ripples in space’, are very interesting because they provide information about collisions in space. Physicist around the world are working on ways to detect them. Leiden University in The Netherlands currently develops a ball-shaped detector of 65 centimeters in diameter. This grows over a distance of no more than 10 exp –20 meter. To compare it with the size of the earth (and therefore multiplying the size by 20 million), you would like to detect a growth of one fifth of a picometer (one picometer is a millionth of a millionth of a meter).

The superconducting sensor Martin Podt of the University of Twente has designed and developed, gets to the desired sensitivity and can be combined with the MiniGrail system. It is a so-called Superconducting Qantum Interference Devices (SQUID). Podt has improved it by lowering the temperature to a value close to zero Kelvin, and by integrating sensor and electronics. “Our current SQUID did not reach the extreme demands of this application. We would then measure too much noise, and you simply cannot distinguish the noise from the parameter you want to measure,” says Podt. He lowers the temperature to about 20 milliKelvin -the MiniGrail is also cooled down to that temperature. The noise of the ‘conventional’ SQUID is introduced when the signal is amplified using an amplifier operating at room temperature. Podt therefore chooses to put the amplifier on the chip as well, so that both are operating at very low temperatures. The result is that it works substantially faster and introduces no noise.


A SQUID, however, measures a magnetic field or flux, and no distance. Therefore the displacement of the MiniGrail will be converted into an electric current. This gives a magnetic flux, and that is what Podt’s system will detect. Together with the scientists from Leiden, he will further develop this principle the coming year.

Already now, the SQUID is one of the most successfull applications of superconductivity. In their current form, they are already fit for detecting the very small magnetic activity of the brain or the heart, even of a foetus. Unlike the system Podt proposes, it is also possible to produce SQUIDs working on a higher temperature and still . These can be cooled down in an easier way and show superconductivity at a higher temperature, but they don’t reach the requirements Podt wants for his application.

Wiebe van der Veen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www-lt.tn.utwente.nl/lt/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht On Mars, sands shift to a different drum
24.05.2019 | University of Arizona

nachricht New Boost for ToCoTronics
23.05.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>