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Distribution of two-level system couplings to strain and electric fields in glasses at low temperatures


The thermal, acoustic, and dielectric properties of glasses below 1 K are dictated by the interaction of two-level systems (TLS) with strain and electric fields. In a previous paper, we proposed a modified TLS model to quantitatively account for the universally small phonon scattering in glasses at low temperatures. A key ingredient of this model was a wide distribution of couplings between TLS and phonons, contrary to the standard model which assumes a single averaged value is sufficient. In this paper, we expand on this view and include couplings to strain as well as electric fields. We then compare our theoretical results to measurements obtained using superconducting qubits. We find that the predictions of the modified TLS model are more consistent with experiments than those of the standard model. For the distribution of couplings between TLS and the strain field, there is a better agreement with experiments if we include a random distribution of local strains. Such a distribution of local strains is consistent with those found from molecular dynamics simulations.

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