Quantum optics and relativistic motion with superconducting circuits
Superconducting microwave circuits provide a versatile platform for studying quantum optics with artificial atoms, mainly motivated by applications in quantum information. In addition, the circuits are promising for simulation of relativistic phenomena. This thesis is based on theoretical work along both these lines.
Firstly, we consider a transmon coupled to an open transmission line. Using circuit quantization techniques and the master equation formalism, we theoretically describe scattering of coherent microwaves states on the transmon. The results agree with various recent experiments. As an example, we see a photon number redistribution leading to antibunching in the reflected field and superbunching in the transmitted field. Inspired by these results, we further investigate the possibility of generating single-photon states on demand in the system. We find that a single two-level system in an open transmission line is not a suitable single-photon source. With an asymmetric setup using two transmission lines, however, single-photon probabilities close to unity can be achieved.
Secondly, we investigate simulation of a relativistically moving cavity containing a quantum field.
Previously, in order to demonstrate the dynamical Casimir effect, a SQUID was used to tune a boundary condition in a way that mimics a moving mirror. Building on this idea, we extend the setup and use two SQUIDs to simulate the moving cavity. An experiment is proposed where the cavity is used as a clock and we show that time dilation should be observable for realistic circuit parameters. We also show how the size and the acceleration of the clock leads to a deviation from the ideal clock formula. Moreover, the effect of acceleration on the precision of the clock is analyzed.