Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Microwave Cavity Lattices for Quantum Simulation with Photons

Devin Underwood
Engineering Quadrangle J401
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

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 different system parameters. In order to realize such a quantum simulator, the necessary experimental foundation must first be developed. Here experimental efforts 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