Degree Name

BS in Physics


Physics Department


Jodi Christiansen


Currently the world maintains the voltage standard using a Josephson junction which makes use of the properties of superconductors and quantum tunneling. Current technology requires liquid He to cool the Josephson junctions to ~4 K to allow them to function as superconductors. He (l) is expensive and price is geographically dependent. Here we investigated using a cryocooler, modeled after a Gifford-McMahon Refrigerator, that could run on 120V (or a standard outlet) and used gaseous He as the working fluid –a less geographically dependent and inexpensive alternative to He (l). We found that indeed a standard outlet gaseous He compressor could reach temperatures of 4 K and that temperatures did not fluctuate with compression cycles of the cold head. It was also determined that indium metal is an effective contact interface to allow heat to be withdrawn from a surface.

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