Friday Squid Blogging: On SQUIDS
A good tutorial:
But we can go beyond the polarization of electrons and really leverage the electron waviness. By interleaving thin layers of superconducting and normal materials, we can make the quantum electronic equivalents of transistors and diodes such as Superconducting Tunnel Junctions (SJTs) and Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (affectionately known as SQUIDs). These devices take full advantage of the wave-like nature of electrons and can be used as building blocks for all sorts of novel electronics.
Because of the superconducting requirement, they need to be kept very cold, but quantum electronics have already revolutionized precision measurement. The most visible application has been in measuring the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Observations of the CMB have shown that we live in an expanding Universe, determined the age of our Universe, and identified the fraction of it composed of dark matter and dark energy. Measurements of the CMB have transformed our understanding of the Universe we live in. These measurements have been largely enabled by SQUIDs and related superconducting electronics in their microwave cameras.
As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.
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