Atomic magnetometers are the devices, which are used for high sensitivity detection of magnetic fields in a large number of applications such as locating unexploded underground structures to detecting biomagnetic fields associated with heart and brain. Atomic magnetometers have shown remarkable changes in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) systems with its recent innovation in achieving maximum sensitivity for biomagnetic fields without using cryogenic cooling. This procedure has helped in developing NMR and MRI equipments with reduced size and less operating expenses. Atomic magnetometers also enable accurate prediction of studies related to drug delivery for pharmaceutical development. Currently, research activities are being conducted to develop atomic magnetometers for magnetoencephalography (MEG), in order to measure magnetic fields produced by electric impulses in the human brain.
Among these, SERF magnetometers are majorly used due to their high sensitivity per unit volume towards biomagnetic fields in comparison to cold atomic magnetometers. These magnetometers use lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in vapor and in magnetic field. SERF magnetometers are also capable of detecting magnetic impurities, which enhance the quality of the results inferred by the devices as it eliminates the interferences caused during magnetic imaging.
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