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Superconducting detector arrays: from cosmology to nuclear non-proliferation

Abstract: Superconductivity is a powerful tool for the detection of electromagnetic radiation from microwaves through gamma rays. The superconducting transition-edge sensor (TES), a leading superconducting direct detector technology, uses a superconducting film biased in the superconducting transition as a sensing element. TES arrays have evolved beyond the research and development phase, and they are being used in applications as diverse as astronomy, nuclear and particle physics, and materials science. These arrays are instrumented by superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) multiplexed amplifiers. I will discuss the development of multiplexed superconducting transition-edge sensor arrays, and highlight their use cosmology and nuclear non-proliferation, where they are providing new capabilities for sensitive measurements of the cosmic microwave background and the elemental and isotopic content of nuclear materials.
Speaker: Kent Irwin - National Institute of Science & Technology, Boulder
Speaker Bio: Dr. Kent Irwin ĀENational Institute of Standards and Technology
Kent Irwin is a NIST fellow and an Adjoint Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He leads the Quantum Sensors Project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, which develops superconducting detectors for electromagnetic signals from microwaves through gamma rays. Before coming to NIST in 1995, he was a graduate student with Blas Cabrera at Stanford University, where he developed detectors for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search. His group is now fielding detector systems for cosmology, astronomy, nuclear materials analysis, and other applications. He has received awards including the Keithley Award of the American Physical Society, the Flemming Award of the George Washington University, NISTís Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal.
Poster Link: Poster
Presentation: Presentation on 10/3/2007 (PDF)