University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Physics and Astronomy Colloquia  > Quantum sensing for brain imaging

Quantum sensing for brain imaging

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Yeshpal Singh.

The working human brain can be studied by measuring the femtotesla-level magnetic fields produced by the electric currents flowing in active neurons. These magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals are typically measured with superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) immersed in liquid helium. While SQUID magnetometers in commercial MEG systems reach sensitivities even better than 3 fT/rHz, the performance of such systems – particularly their spatial resolution – is limited by the large distance from the brain to the sensors, necessitated by the cryogenics. Advances in quantum optics have made optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs) a viable alternative to SQUI Ds in the MEG application. In this talk, I will present the basics of OPM sensors, compare SQUI Ds and OPMs in MEG by simulations and measurements, present our OPM system and illustrative MEG experiments performed with it, and finally discuss our plans for a higher-performance OPM sensor.

This talk is part of the Physics and Astronomy Colloquia series.

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