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Probing light-matter interaction in the many-body regime of superconducting quantum circuits

Abstract : Understanding the way light and matter interact remains a central topic in modern physics despite decades of intensive research. Owing to the large light-matter interaction in superconducting circuits, it is now realistic to think about experiments where the dynamics of environments containing many degrees of freedom becomes relevant. It suggests that bridging many-body physics, usually devoted to condensed matter, and quantum optics is within reach.In this work we present a fully tunable system for studying light-matter interaction with many bodies at different coupling regimes. The circuit consists of a transmon qubit (“the matter”) capacitively coupled to an array of 4700 Josephson junctions in a squid geometry, sustaining many electromagnetic or plasma modes (“the light”). Thanks to the large kinetic inductance of Josephson junctions, the array shows a high characteristic impedance that enhances the qubit-modes coupling. The squids in the transmon and in the array allow us to tune the strength of this coupling via an external magnetic flux.We observe the three required ingredients to explore many-body physics: an environment with a high density of electromagnetic modes, the ultra-strong light-matter coupling regime and a non-linearity comparable to the other relevant energy scales. Moreover, we present a method to treat the effect of the vacuum fluctuations of all these degrees of freedom. Thus we provide a quantitative and parameter-free model of this large quantum system. Finally, from the phase shift induced by the transmon on the modes of the array, the transmon phase shift, we quantify the hybridization of the transmon qubit with several modes in the array (up to 10) and obtain the transmon resonance frequency and its width, demonstrating that we are in the ultra-strong coupling regime.This work demonstrates that quantum circuits are a very powerful platform to explore many-body quantum optics in a fully controlled way. Combining superconducting metamaterials and qubits could allow us to observe qualitative many-body effects such as giant lambshift, non-classical states of light and particle productions or to simulate quantum impurity problems (such as the Kondo model or the sine-Gordon model) and dissipative quantum phase transitions.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01839210, version 2

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Javier Puertas. Probing light-matter interaction in the many-body regime of superconducting quantum circuits. Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect [cond-mat.mes-hall]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY021⟩. ⟨tel-01839210v2⟩

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