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Quantum non-linearities of a qubit ultra-strongly coupled to a waveguide

Abstract : In the recent years, the field of light-matter interaction has made a further stride forward with the advent of superconducting qubits ultra-strongly coupled to open waveguides. In this setting, the qubit becomes simultaneously coupled to many different modes of the waveguide, thus turning into a highly intricate light-matter object. Investigating the wealth of new dynamical phenomena that emerge from the high complexity of these engineered quantum many-body systems is the main objective of this thesis.As a first crucial step, we tackle the time-evolution of such a non-trivial system using a novel numerical technique based on an expansion of the full state vector in terms of multi-mode coherent states. Inspired by earlier semi-classical approaches, this numerically exact method provides an important advance compared to the state-of-the-art techniques that have been used so far to study the many-mode ultra-strong coupling regime. Crucially, it also keeps track of every detail of the dynamics of the complete qubit-waveguide system, allowing both to perform the tomography and to extract multi-particle scattering of the waveguide degrees of freedom.An exploration of the many-mode ultra-strong coupling regime using this new technique led to the two core theoretical predictions of this thesis. The first demonstrates that the radiation spontaneously emitted by an excited qubit takes the form of a Schrödinger cat state of light, a result strikingly different from the usual single-photon emission known from standard quantum optics. The second prediction concerns the scattering of low-power coherent signals on a qubit, a very common experimental protocol performed routinely in laboratories. Most remarkably, it is shown that the qubit non-linearity, transferred to the waveguide through the ultra-strong light-matter interaction, is able to split photons from the incoming beam into several lower-energy photons, leading to the emergence of a low-frequency continuum in the scattered power spectrum that dominates the inelastic signal. By studying the second-order correlation function of the radiated field, it is also shown that emission at ultra-strong coupling displays characteristic signatures of particle production.In the final part of the thesis, the second-order correlation function is investigated again, but this time experimentally, and in the regime of moderate coupling. Although the results are still preliminary, this part of the thesis will provide an instructive account of signal measurement theory and will allow to understanding in-depth the experimental procedure involved in measuring quantum microwave signals. Moreover, the experimental developments and microwave simulations tools described in this section could be applied in the future to signals emitted by ultra-strongly coupled qubits, in order to observe the signatures of particle production revealed by the second-order correlation function.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 1, 2019 - 6:15:31 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02004531, version 1

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Nicolas Gheeraert. Quantum non-linearities of a qubit ultra-strongly coupled to a waveguide. Condensed Matter [cond-mat]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY034⟩. ⟨tel-02004531⟩

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