(Explica.co) Scientists from the University of Sussex have built a modular quantum sensor for the first time and used it to record a brain signal.
The device uses ultra-sensitive quantum sensors to capture tiny magnetic fields and maps of neural activity within the brain.
The sensors, which harness the fundamental properties of atoms to detect magnetic fields, were placed on the outside of the scalp of a volunteer who was asked to open and close his eyes every 10 to 20 seconds.
The sensors detected the neural signal for this movement from outside the brain, requiring enormously sophisticated quantum technology.
The sensor captures the brain’s magnetic fields, which are very weak: up to a million times smaller than the magnet we have on the refrigerator door, explains one of the authors, Thomas Coussens, in a statement.
Ultrasensitive sensors are able to observe the interior of the brain and map neural activity through the weak magnetic fields of the brain.