Magnetometer

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    In News

    Recently, Scientists from Raman Research Institute (RRI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology have developed Magnetometer for low cost, reliable & real-time measurements of magnetic fields.

    Magnetometer

    • It is an instrument for measuring the strength and sometimes the direction of magnetic fields, including those on or near the Earth and in space.
    • Magnetometers are also used to calibrate electromagnets and permanent magnets and to determine the magnetization of materials.
    • The first magnetometer was created by Carl Friedrich Gauss.

    About The Development 

    • The researchers heated rubidium atoms to temperatures ranging between 100 and 200 degrees Celsius, causing spin fluctuations
    • They applied an external magnetic field across the heated rubidium atoms.
    • They bombarded the atoms with a laser, which has a property called ‘polarization’.
    •  The spin fluctuations caused the laser’s polarization to fluctuate, which the researchers measured using a light detector. 
      • The polarization fluctuation is the signal for the digital receiver system.
    • They then designed the system to work in two different modes.
      • One of them uses a widely-used mathematical function, the ‘Fourier transform’ of the signal, named after its inventor Joseph Fourier. 
      • The Fourier transform of the signal allowed  them to calculate how the rubidium atom’s energies vary, from which they can directly infer the magnetic field. 

                                    Image Courtesy :PIB 

    • They demonstrated that their two-component digital receiver system works as an atomic magnetometer.
      • a magnetometer can be deployed to measure unknown magnetic fields.
      • They measured a magnetic field of 800 microgauss –– roughly a thousand times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field, within a tenth of a second.

    Relevance 

    • Digital signals are the backbone of communication systems processed by hardware systems that transmit and receive the signals with the help of intermediate systems called ‘digital receiver systems’ or DRS. 
    • When magnetic matter creates signals, analysing them with DRS allows  scientists to study the magnetic fields. 
      • Analysing the properties of the signals, for example, how they vary with time, scientists can measure the fields and study their small fluctuations.
    • A standard method of measuring the magnetic field analyses small frequency ranges of the signal separately.
      •  The researchers showed that their method speeds up the calculations compared to the standard method. Their improved method also increased their confidence in how the electrons’ energies vary more than ten times.
    • It is a more efficient, faster, and low-cost digital receiver system that can make precise measurements of magnetic fields.

    Source:PIB