James Edward Zimmerman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

James Edward Zimmerman (February 19, 1923 – August 4, 1999) was born in Lantry, South Dakota. He was a coinventor of the radio-frequency superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) and he is credited with coining the term.

Career[edit]

While at NIST, Jim introduced two important innovations in SQUID magnetometry:

  • Fractional-turn SQUID, improving the coupling efficiency
  • SQUID gradiometer, improving sensitivity to nearby fields

In addition, in the late 70's and early 80's, he also gave a major contribution to the development of low-power closed-cycle Stirling refrigerators, to reach temperatures in the range 4K - 8K with the purpose of cooling SQUID devices and small-scale superconducting electronics without resorting to liquid helium dewar vessels. A major achievement was the use of plastic parts made in the laboratory, which would be assembled in a totally non-magnetic cryocooler (refrigerator), in order not to interfere with highly sensitive SQUID's. Later, he was also involved in the development of pulse-tube cryocoolers.

Education[edit]

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, B.S. Electrical Engineering 1943
Carnegie Institute of Technology, ScD Physics 1951 – 1953

Awards[edit]

NIST Fellow
Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, the highest award for scientific achievement conferred by NIST
In 1987 he became one of the first to make a SQUID using the newly discovered high-temperature superconductors.

Trivia[edit]

On New Year's Eve of 1969, he participated in an historic experiment, conducted at MIT in collaboration with David Cohen and Edgar Edelsak recording the first human magnetocardiogram using a SQUID sensor.

External links[edit]