Superconducting circuits based on Josephson junctions exhibit macroscopic quantum coherence and can behave like artificial atoms. Recent technological advances have made it possible to implement atomic-physics and quantum-optics experiments on a chip using these artificial atoms. This Review presents a brief overview of the progress achieved so far in this rapidly advancing field. We not only discuss phenomena analogous to those in atomic physics and quantum optics with natural atoms, but also highlight those not occurring in natural atoms. In addition, we summarize several prospective directions in this emerging interdisciplinary field. Superconducting circuits with Josephson junctions can behave as artificial atoms. In these quantum circuits, the Josephson junctions act as nonlinear circuit elements ( Box 1 ). Such nonlinearity in a circuit ensures an unequal spacing between energy levels, so that the lowest levels can be individually addressed by using external fields (see, for example, refs 1–9 ). Experimentally, these circuits are fabricated on a micrometre scale and operated at millikelvin temperatures. Because of the reduced dimensionality and thanks to the superconductivity, the environment-induced dissipation and noise are greatly suppressed, so the circuits can behave quantum mechanically. Superconducting circuits based on Josephson junctions have recently become subjects of
Nature – Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Published: Jun 29, 2011
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