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Title: Strongly correlated photonic materials: parametric interactions and ultrastrong coupling in circuit QED
Authors: Vrajitoarea, Marius Andrei
Advisors: Houck, Andrew A
Contributors: Electrical Engineering Department
Keywords: circuit QED
quantum optics
quantum simulation
superconducting qubits
Subjects: Electrical engineering
Applied physics
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In recent years, superconducting circuits have become a promising architecture for quantum computing and quantum simulation. This advancing technology offers excellent scalability, long coherence times, and large photon nonlinearities, making it a versatile platform for studying non-equilibrium condensed matter physics with light. This thesis covers a series of experiments and theoretical developments aimed at probing strongly correlated states of interacting photons. Building upon previous efforts on nonlinear superconducting lattices, this work focuses on establishing new platforms for generating interactions between microwave photons in multi-mode circuits. The first experiment presents a new paradigm in exploiting the nonlinearity of a Josephson junction to tailor the Hilbert space of harmonic oscillators using a dynamical three-wave mixing process. This allows a single microwave resonator to be addressed as a two-level system, offering a promising pathway to long-lived qubits. A theoretical proposal is outlined for building a field-programmable quantum simulator, harnessing this dynamical nonlinearity for stimulating strong photon-photon interactions. The system consists of a lattice of harmonic modes in synthetic dimensions, where particle hopping and on-site interactions can be independently controlled via frequency-selective flux modulation. Numerical studies show that for strong interactions the driven-dissipative steady-state develops a crystalline phase for photons. The second experiment explores the physics of quantum impurities, where a single well-controlled qubit is coupled to the many modes of a photonic crystal waveguide. The light-matter coupling strength is pushed into the ultrastrong coupling regime, where the qubit is simultaneously hybridized with many modes and the total number of excitations is not conserved. Probing transport through the waveguide reveals that the propagation of a single photon becomes a many-body problem as multi-photon bound states participate in the scattering dynamics. Furthermore, the effective photon interactions induced by just this single impurity leads to interesting inelastic emission of photons. Probing correlations in the field emission reveals signatures of multi-mode entanglement. This work presents opportunities for exploring large-scale lattices with strongly interacting photons. These platforms are compatible with well-established techniques for generating artificial magnetic fields and stabilizing many-body states through reservoir engineering, complementing growing efforts in the quest for building synthetic quantum materials with light.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Electrical Engineering

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