Special & Memorial Sessions

The ASC 2018 program committee is planning a number of special sessions which will be of interest for different attendees, including engineers/scientists, system-level developers, and industry-level representatives. Sessions will include special-invited and contributed presentations. 

This page will be updated as new information becomes available. Please be sure to check back.

Confirmed Special & Memorial Sessions

Critical Current and Flux Pinning I: Beyond the Artificial Pinning Centers – Dedicated to Alexi Abrikosov (1MOr1B)  
Monday, October 29, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  
Achieving strong flux pinning is the key for optimizing the operative range of conditions (field-temperature) in superconductor applications. Second phases as Artificial Pinning Centers (APC) has been introduced in the early 1960s for low temperature superconductors. Since then the APC method has been extensively studied leading to remarkable advancements as, just to mention a recent example, the enhanced pinning in Nb3Sn-Zr wires produced by the internal oxidation process.

In the last 15 years, much of the efforts devoted to the pinning enhancement in high temperature superconductors has been focused on the APC method, and on the possibility to transfer the related pinning improvements to REBCO coated conductor technology. The obtained results has enabled most of the coated-conductor companies to produce advanced superconducting tapes meeting the requirements for different applications.

This session, dedicated to the great physicist and Nobel prize Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, represents an opportunity to review the work done so far on the APC topic and to discuss about further developments: have we already explored all the potentiality of APCs or not? This will be also a unique opportunity to identify recent trends and to collect new ideas with the aim of fostering alternative and original methods to further enhance pinning in superconducting materials.

Digital Processors – Dedicated to Doc Bedard (1EOr1C)  
Monday, October 29, 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  
Superconducting digital circuits have been actively pursued and developed for many decades due to their outstanding properties with high speed and energy efficiency. Competing for technology space with CMOS circuits, superconducting digital circuits technology has exhibited considerable progress and offers advantages on a number of metrics. The first generation superconducting digital circuits started from latching circuits, progressed to rapid single flux quantum (RSFQ) circuits, and more recently are realized as energy efficient single flux quantum (SFQ) circuits, which include ERSFQ, eSFQ, LVSFQ, RQL, and AQFP. The recent rapid progress of the energy efficient SFQ circuit technology enables the realization of even larger digital circuits, such as digital processors, operating with previously envisioned low power consumption.

This session is dedicated to Fernand “Doc” Bedard, retired NSA Fellow and one of the first directors of the Laboratory for Physical Sciences, who passed away on June 21st, 2018 in Silver Springs, Maryland. Doc received his B.S. degree in Physics and Mathematics magna cum laude from Fordham University and his Ph.D. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University. During his career, he taught physics at the University of Cincinnati, American University, and the University of Maryland.

He spent most of his career at the National Security Agency, working in a wide variety of technologies and technology applications in Research and Engineering. His association with superconducting electronics stretched back to early research into Dudley Buck’s cryotron in the early 60’s. He was one of the leading advocates and investigators of application of superconducting electronics to high performance computing and networking systems, including central roles in the IBM Josephson Computer Technology project in the early 70’s, the Crossbar Switch demonstration in the mid-90’s and the Hybrid Technology Multi-Threaded (HTMT) petaflops project in the late 90’s. The legacy of his vision can be seen in the current IARPA Cryogenic Computing Complexity (C3) program.

Doc was not just a visionary sponsor of superconducting research, he was an accomplished and creative inventor and technologist. Doc was the inventor on 6 patents and the architect and first circuit designer of the 128×128 crossbar switch. In addition, he used his deep insight into electromagnetism to pioneer novel sensors across a variety of bandwidths.

During his career, Doc mentored many scientists and engineers. He was always willing to provide his insight into computing, circuits, cryogenics, materials, physics, and a broad panoply of technologies. He was active in the organization of many of the flagship conferences including the earliest Applied Superconductivity Conference, the establishment of the International Superconductive Electronics Conference. He was a founding organizer of the Workshop for Superconductive Devices, Circuits, and Systems (the JJ Workshop) and was still a member of the board at his passing.

In 2002, Doc received the IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity for his contributions within superconducting electronics.

While he had retired from professional activities, those who were in contact with Doc know that he was still working and creating, developing his inventions and ideas for commercial applications of superconducting electronics. Doc’s wisdom, energy, humor, and sharp insights will be sorely missed.

50th Anniversary of the BNL Summer Study (2LOr2B)  
Tuesday, October 30, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  
Presentations will recollect the ground-breaking studies that led to colliding beam accelerators using superconducting components. Speakers will also describe how original themes continue to relevant for present-day accelerators and envisioned accelerators 50 years into the future.  
High Temperature Superconductor-based Technologies as Enabler for Efficient and Resilient Energy Systems (2LOr3C)  
Tuesday, October 30, 5:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.  

New technologies based on the use of High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) can lead to higher efficiency and more resilient energy systems. As a matter of fact, HTS are creating opportunities for promising commercial components enabling the needed evolution of the energy system, such as high-capacity power cables, fault current limiters, high-efficiency generators for offshore wind turbines, energy storage, and innovative transformers. Not only do superconductor-based devices provide improvements over conventional electric grid technologies, but also unique alternatives to system challenges that cannot be addressed otherwise.

This special session organized by the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Program on HTS (IEA HTS TCP) will explore the potentialities of HTS-based devices in allowing the transformation towards reliable, resilient, secure, affordable, flexible and efficient energy systems.

This session will feature an introduction and then a presentation based on a recently developed white paper to give an overview on the current environmental impacts and to show how HTS-based technologies could be helpful to mitigate them. This presentation will be followed by a few talks by international experts dealing with more specific issues. An interactive session, moderated by a representative from the IEA HTS TCP, will follow. The aim of this session is to promote an interactive discussion with the audience on the potential benefits of HTS in the energy system, emphasizing how the superconductivity industry would positively contribute to an innovative, more efficient and resilient future energy system. All presented material will be made available to all attendees.

HTS Magnets at the Frontier of Science and Technology: A Roundtable Discussion (3PL1B)  
Wednesday, October 31, 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  
NEW to ASC 2018: The conference program will add an informal conversation, moderated by Joe Minervini (MIT), to its traditional plenary settings. Experts will describe the future of very high field HTS magnet applications as key-technologies for: Fusion, NMR, and accelerators for High Energy Physics. Panelists are Prof. Seungyong Hahn – Seoul National University (on leave from Florida State University and NHMFL), Dr. Tengming Shen – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Dr. Zach Hartwig – MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. 

Audience participation is an important part of this session. Please watch for instructions about how to participate.

Young Scientist Plenary Session Inaugural ASC Event (3PL1C)  
Wednesday, October 31, 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  
This plenary session is designed to give some space to young and promising scientists in the superconductivity field. Candidates are nominated by the ASC Program Committee and six of them are invited to this plenary session. Each presentation is 5 minutes long and the speakers are asked to present a new concrete idea for application, physics breakthrough, new understanding, or eye-opening perspective that they are working on. Click here for the list of young scientist plenary speakers.  
Numerical Modeling for HTS (3LOr2C)  
Wednesday, October 31, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  
The design of superconducting applications is very challenging due to the strongly non-linear constitutive laws of superconducting materials and the importance of the coupling between their electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Yet, reliable numerical models of superconductor systems can be key enablers for the development of innovative applications. A substantial effort has been devoted to modelling large-scale and material applications, with an analysis from very fine to macroscopic scales, using both analytical and numerical approaches. Current challenges include developing fast and reliable methods to model 3D geometries, with possibly high-aspect ratio elements, as well as integrating the superconducting components in larger electrical or thermal systems. This session aims at bringing together key researchers from different areas of expertise (large scale / materials, thermal / electrical / mechanical properties, advanced numerical methods / new semi-analytical approaches), in order to foster new developments through the exchange of their experience.  
Quantum Computing, Information, and Engineering (4EOr2C)  
Thursday, November 1, 1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  
Quantum Computing, quantum information, and quantum engineering have reached a critical mass of activity worldwide, crossing an inflection point where progress is exponential by many metrics (for example increase in coherence time). While potential applications abound and promise heretofore unachievable performance, the road to practical system is still long and requires significant resources. This session will feature invited leaders and experts across geographical and technical disciplines, from Japan to Europe to China to the US, and from the “digital” quantum computation to quantum annealing, to provide the ASC community of attendees with a comprehensive view of the efforts and prospects worldwide. Topics include the “Quantum Flagship” program in Europe, the Quantum Research Supercenter in China, and similarly large programs in Japan and the USA. This special session complements the plenary presentation of Thursday morning by Prof. Robert Schoelkopf.  
Superconductor Electronics Technology Roadmap for IRDS 2018 (5EOr1A)  
Friday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  
The International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) recently succeeded the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The roadmap driver changed from scaling physical dimensions to application requirements and now includes a broader range of non-semiconductor technologies, such as superconductor electronics (SCE). In 2018 the IRDS published its 2017 roadmap reports and elevated Cryogenic Electronics and Quantum Information Processing (CE&QIP) to the status of an international focus team (IFT). Superconductor electronics is a key area, both on its own and within QIP. For the 2018 report, we consider initial application areas and market drivers for superconductor electronics using the IRDS framework. Applications such as computational accelerators will require significant improvements in circuit density, complexity, functional capability, memory capacity, and data rates in and out of the cryogenic environment. Models, metrics, and benchmarks predict device and system performance and guide technology roadmapping to meet application requirements. A process for developing an application-driven roadmap for superconductor electronics is described and a first roadmap is proposed.  
Superconducting Applications for Cosmological Research (5EOr1B)
Friday, November 2, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  

A travel in space and time – and in temperature.

You will travel from 45.7 billion light-years, the dimension of the observable universe, to the 10m diameter South Pole telescope to the 0.25 um KID structure. From 13.4 billion years, the age of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), to the ms TES time constant to 1e-37s, the Inflation epoch. From the extremely hot temperature of the primordial universe down to 10K of magnetically levitated Half-Wave Plate (HWP), to 4K of SQUIDs to 0.3K of Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs) and Transition-Edge Sensors (TESes).

You will work in the harsh environment of the South Pole, testing the performance of a frequency domain multiplexing readout architecture to operate a ~16,000 TESes array with scientific targets running from the inflationary gravitational waves to the total neutrino mass and the physics of the galaxy clusters, the largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe. You will experience the challenges in the multiplexing readout for the next generation CMB experiment targeting ~500,000 detectors.
In an underground experiment at the Gran Sasso (Italy), you will perform research of rare scattering events between CaWO_4 crystals (the cryogenic calorimeters) and sub-GeV/c^2 Dark Matter (DM) particles, detecting a nuclear recoil as low as 100eV with W TESes.
In a 100 class cleanroom you will learn KIDs fabrication. You will test an on chip TiN KID resonators spectrometer for future observations of spectral lines from dusty star forming galaxies at high redshift, from a 50m diameter telescope on the volcano Sierra Negra (Mexico, 4,600m above sea level).
You will fly on board of a future satellite to spin for 3 years, with a superconducting magnetic bearing, a 45cm diameter HWP cooled down to 10K. You will experience the instrument challenges to reach a nK sensitivity in polarization necessary to measure the potential polarization fluctuactions produced during the Inflation.

You will learn how ambitious cosmology scientific targets are shaping the challenges that require developments in the superconducting technologies.

Maria Salatino, Joe Minervini, Lance Cooley and the speakers invite you to this special ASC 2018 session organized visiting the Orsay museum in Paris, watching the movie ‘the theory of everything’ and walking in the night in the Princeton University campus.
You will make connections.
You will build bridges between ‘islands’ that so far do not speak each other.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious.”
Prof. Stephen Hawking

Info: Maria Salatino, marias5@stanford.edu.

TES Workshop


Transition-edge sensors, or TESs, are superconducting, thermal detectors. The energy of incoming photons or particles, or the energy of a nuclear reaction within an embedded material, is converted to heat in an absorber. A TES operates in the resistive transition between its superconducting and normal-metal states, where the electrical resistance is a strong function of temperature. Thus the heat of absorption raises the device temperature and resistance. A SQUID ammeter measures changes in the device current. TESs are increasingly used in many measurement fields, including cosmic-microwave-background cosmology, X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy, quantum information, dark-matter searches, and measurement of the neutrino mass.

The first TES Workshop was held in 2002, with the goal that TES researchers from across the globe could share, discuss, and understand confusing experimental results from their early TESs of different geometries and materials systems. The Workshop has been held every two years since, and has been joined to the Applied Superconductivity Conference since 2008.

TES devices provide interesting laboratories in which to study the nature of superconductivity itself; the Workshop has an oral and a poster session dedicated to device physics. Another pair of workshop sessions (one oral, one poster) are about device readout: ever larger and more capable arrays of TES devices are being developed for various measurement applications, and new multiplexed readout schemes are required as an enabling technology. In a nod to the maturation of the TES field toward measurement instrumentation in an exploding number of fields, there are three oral sessions and one poster session about measurement applications. Fabrication of TES devices is covered in a Workshop poster session. Finally, an oral and a poster session are dedicated to other superconducting thermal detectors (such as magnetic calorimeters and hot-electron bolometers) that share some elements of design, physics, and readout with TESs, and are thus of interest to the TES community.

Special features of the TES Workshop (outside of standard ASC conference activities) are:

  • “Poster slide” presentations (at the end of a designated oral session). Each poster presenter in one of the TES Workshop sessions has the opportunity to present 1 slide (about 1 minute) to advertise the content of his/her poster.
  • Workshop dinner.

To be added to the email list for this and future TES Workshops, please contact Dale Li (SLAC) at daletesworkshop@gmail.com. The TES-Workshop email list is separate from that of the wider ASC conference.

For additional information, please visit the TES Workshop website at: TES Workshop website: https://sites.google.com/view/tesworkshop2018/.

The following TES Workshop sessions are scheduled during the ASC 2018 Conference:

Oral Sessions    
Monday, October 29 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 1EOr1B – Readout Techniques
  4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 1EOr2C – Sensor Physics
Tuesday, October 30 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 2EOr1A – Analysis and Calibration of Microcalorimeter Data
  3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 2EOr2B – Applications of Microcalorimeters I
  5:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. 2EOr3B – Applications of Microcalorimeters II
Wednesday, October 31 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 3EOr2B – CMB Applications
Poster Sessions    
Tuesday, October 30 8:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 2EPo1C – Device Physics
  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 2EPo2D – Fabrication
Wednesday, October 31 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 3EPo1B – Enabling Technologies
  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 3EPo1C – Enabling Technologies [P II]
  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 3EPo2B – Applications