Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI scans depict the body in extremely thin layers. Based on this detailed insight, clinicians can make more reliable diagnoses and carry out more targeted treatments. To perform its function, an MRI scanner requires a very strong and homogeneous magnetic field that can be up to 100,000 times stronger than the earth’s. It is generated by superconducting magnets which have to be continuously cooled with liquid helium. Helium is the only element that remains liquid at minus 269 degrees Celsius under atmospheric pressure – a prerequisite for use in MRI scanners.