Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Microwave cavity lattices for quantum simulation with photons
by Underwood, Devin Lane, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2015, 182; 3686679
Abstract (Summary)

Historically our understanding of the microscopic world has been impeded by limitations in systems that behave classically. Even today, understanding simple problems in quantum mechanics remains a difficult task both computationally and experimentally. As a means of overcoming these classical limitations, the idea of using a controllable quantum system to simulate a less controllable quantum system has been proposed. This concept is known as quantum simulation and is the origin of the ideas behind quantum computing.

In this thesis, experiments have been conducted that address the feasibility of using devices with a circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) architecture as a quantum simulator. In a cQED device, a superconducting qubit is capacitively coupled to a superconducting resonator resulting in coherent quantum behavior of the qubit when it interacts with photons inside the resonator. It has been shown theoretically that by forming a lattice of cQED elements, different quantum phases of photons will exist for dierent system parameters. In order to realize such a quantum simulator, the necessary experimental foundation must rst be developed. Here experimental eorts were focused on addressing two primary issues: 1) designing and fabricating low disorder lattices that are readily available to incorporate superconducting qubits, and 2) developing new measurement tools and techniques that can be used to characterize large lattices, and probe the predicted quantum phases within the lattice.

Three experiments addressing these issues were performed. In the rst experiment a Kagome lattice of transmission line resonators was designed and fabricated, and a comprehensive study on the effects of random disorder in the lattice demonstrated that disorder was dependent on the resonator geometry. Subsequently a cryogenic 3-axis scanning stage was developed and the operation of the scanning stage was demonstrated in the final two experiments. The rst scanning experiment was conducted on a 49 site Kagome lattice, where a sapphire defect was used to locally perturb each lattice site. This perturbative scanning probe microscopy provided a means to measure the distribution of photon modes throughout the entire lattice. The second scanning experiment was performed on a single transmission line resonator where a transmon qubit was fabricated on a separate substrate, mounted to the tip of the scanning stage and coupled to the resonator. Here the coupling strength of the qubit to the resonator was mapped out demonstrating strong coupling over a wide scanning range, thus indicating the potential for a scanning qubit to be used as a local quantum probe.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Houck, Andrew
Commitee: Fleischer, Jason, Gmachl, Claire, Lyon, Steve, Tureci, Hakan
School: Princeton University
Department: Electrical Engineering
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Electrical engineering, Quantum physics, Condensed matter physics, Theoretical physics
Keywords: Circuit qed, Quantum optics, Quantum simulation
Publication Number: 3686679
ISBN: 9781321635287
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