Project Overview

Artificial Neurons Using Superconductors

Faculty Sponsor

Ken Segall (


Physics and Astronomy


Several positions are available in the study of artificial neurons in the lab of Ken Segall.  Positions will last for eight weeks from early June through the end of July.  The work involves the design, fabrication and testing of integrated circuits which can simulate neuron spiking dynamics on very fast timescales.   These circuits are based on a low-temperature, superconducting electronics technology (Josephson junctions) that has already been successful in creating ultra-sensitive magnetometers, high-performance radiation detectors, high-speed digital processors, and the primary voltage standard in the U.S.  The short spiking times in these artificial neurons combined with analog scaling properties give this approach a potentially unprecedented ability to investigate long term dynamics of large networks.  In addition, these artificial neurons dissipate almost no power, making them a candidate for a low-power, neuromorphic computing technology.  All students will be involved in cryogenic, data collection and data analysis.  In addition, some students will specialize in either computational studies, electronics instrumentation, machine shop work or noise studies when we are not taking data.  The sum will be a nice broad exposure to low-temperature physics, applied physics, nonlinear dynamics and computational neuroscience.   Students should have taken Physics 232, 233, 334 and 336 to work on these projects.  Students interested in pairing this work with Physics 410 in the following year are especially invited to apply.

Student Qualifications

Students should have taken Physics 232, 233, 334 and 336 to work on these projects.

Number of Student Researchers

4 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2020 and close on 03/11/2020

<< Back to List

If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (