A Progress Report on Commercial Superconducting Instruments in the United States

  • M. B. Simmonds
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 21)


SQUID based instruments have been commercially manufactured in the United States for over six years. However, until about three years ago these systems were only suitable to be used by low temperature physicists and other researchers who were willing to become initiated into the somewhat black art of SQUID operation. The early instruments presented users with a choice between temperamental point-contact junctions and temperature sensitive thin-film bridges. It was often up to the user to piece his system together from various suppliers, and then have to worry about RFI (radio frequency interference), slew rate limitations, mysterious flux jumping, ground loops and a host of other distracting problems. There were no comprehensive research contracts let to industry for the systematic development of SQUID systems, so that out of necessity the development work was done in a piecemeal fashion. The terms “special” and “optional” have sometimes been used as euphemisms for “untried” when soliciting fixed-price contracts. These practices have resulted in some desperately heroic development feats. They have also, on occasion, left the customer with the task of salvaging a less than successful design.


Pickup Coil Radio Frequency Interference Commercial Instrument Energy Sensitivity Squid Sensor 
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  1. 1.
    S. H. E. Corporation, San Diego, California. Superconducting Technology, Inc., Mountain View, Ca.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Simmonds
    • 1
  1. 1.S. H. E. CorporationSan DiegoUSA

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