1989/11/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Soviet scientists have used high temperature superconductors for the first time to measure the small magnetic field created by man's heartbeat. This achievement has awakened hope in the practical use of high-temperature superconductors.

The tool was designed by the team led by Boris Basiliev. The superconductor used is formed by yttrium, barium, copper and oxygen (YBa2CU307). They have built a tool called SQUID (Superconducting quantum interference device – Interferentzi, superconducting quantum tool). It is a ring of superconducting material very sensitive to the variations of the associated magnetic flux.

Similar tools have been used, but using conventional superconductors. The use of conventional superconductors requires liquid helium to be refrigerant. However, high temperature superconductors have enough liquid nitrogen. The latter is much cheaper than the first.

SQUIDs made with high-temperature superconductors can be used in medicine as substitutes for electroencephalograms.

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