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From atoms to brains: Microfabricated atomic sensors for non-invasive magnetic brain imaging?

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Svenja Knappe

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

NIST Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

Laser spectroscopy of atoms can be used as a sensitive tool to measure many physical properties such as time, length, acceleration, and temperature. It has also been used to measure magnetic fields as precisely as the best superconducting magnetometers currently available. Our group has been trying to miniaturize these atom-based magnetic field sensors by use of microfabrication technologies. We have developed a non-invasive multichannel magnetic imaging system sensitive enough to detect the tiny magnetic fields emitted by the brain. These uncooled small sensors could open new and exciting possibilities for brain imaging. They could improve the spatial resolution of the images, open the door for imaging during real-world scenarios, long-term telemetry, and maybe even enable wearable systems in the future.