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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantum Jumps and Measurement Backaction in a Superconducting Qubit

  • Author(s): Slichter, Daniel Huber
  • Advisor(s): Siddiqi, Irfan
  • et al.
Abstract

Real-time monitoring of a quantum state provides powerful tools for studying the backaction of quantum measurement and performing quantum feedback. Historically, this monitoring capability has been the exclusive province of atomic and optical physics. This thesis describes the implementation of the first such high-fidelity readout scheme in a solid state circuit, a superconducting quantum bit (qubit) coupled to a microwave cavity in the circuit quantum electrodynamics (circuit QED) architecture. The qubit-state-dependent resonance frequency of the cavity is probed with a microwave drive tone, and the resulting signal amplified using a fast, ultralow-noise superconducting parametric amplifier. This arrangement enables the observation of quantum jumps between the qubit states in real time.

The ability to monitor the qubit continuously with high fidelity and resolve quantum jumps can be used to investigate the backaction of the measurement process on the qubit. This thesis examines the quantum Zeno effect--where strong measurement inhibits the evolution of a quantum system-- as well as the transition to non-ideal measurement with increasing measurement strength in the circuit QED architecture, a phenomenon shown to be due to the upconversion of low-frequency dephasing noise. These data allow probes of ``universal'' flux noise in previously inaccessible frequency ranges. The work presented here opens the door for quantum feedback and error correction in solid-state quantum systems using continuous weak measurement.

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