Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

SQUIDs Past, Present, and Future: A Sympsium in Honor of Jim Zimmerman



Richard L. Kautz


The symposium on SQUIDs Past, Present, and Future was held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado on November 15, 1997 to celebrate the career of James E. Zimmerman. As a member of a team at the Ford Scientific Laboratory more than thirty years ago, Jim Zimmerman became coinventor of the radio-frequency Superconducting Quantum Interference Device and coined the name SQUID. A highly sensitive detector of magnetic fields, the SQUID is limited only by fundamental quantum uncertainties, and its potential was immediately recogniqed. Later, at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST), Zimmerman pioneered many applications of the SQUID, from measurement science to geomagnetism and magnetoencephalography. As a tribute to Zimmerman's long and productive career, the symposium presented talks by prominent researchers reviewing the SQUID's origin and the present state of the art. In the tradition of a festschrift, this symposium booklet gathers documents providing a glimpse into the life and science of Jim Zimmerman. The documents include a biographical sketch that gives the particulars of Jim's career a banquet address in which Jim pays tribute to his mentor Immanuel Estermann, and letters from collagues remembering Jim's lust for life. Jim Zimmerman will celebrate his 75th birthday next February, and we might have used the event as a pretext for our symposium. The truth is that we were motivated by a less happy circumstance. Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer in June of 1996 and has been fighting for his life ever since. A series of chemotherapy treatments, ending in May of this year, were at least partially successful, and over the following months Jim regained his strength to the extent that on one would have suspected his ailment at the time of the symposium. However, Jim's cancer is by no means cured and he expects to continue chemotherapy in the near future. Arranging a symposium on short notice is not a simple task
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5095
Report Number


biomagnetic research, SQUID, superconducting cylinders


Kautz, R. (2000), SQUIDs Past, Present, and Future: A Sympsium in Honor of Jim Zimmerman, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed February 22, 2024)
Created October 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017