Publications from 2011

Approaching Perfect Microwave Photodetection in Circuit QED.

B. Peropadre, G. Romero, G. Johansson, C. M. Wilson, E. Solano, J. J. García-Ripoll.
In order to apply all ideas from quantum optics to the field of quantum circuits, one of the missing ingredients is a high-efficiency single-photon detector. In this work we propose a design for such a device which successfully reaches 100% efficiency with only one absorber. Our photon detector consists of a three-level system (a phase qubit) coupled to a semi-infinite one-dimensional waveguide (a microwave transmission line) which performs highly efficient photodetection in a simplified manner as compared to previous proposals. Using the tools of quantum optics we extensively study the scattering properties of realistic wave packets against this device, thereby computing the efficiency of the detector. We find that the detector has many operating modes, can detect detuned photons, is robust against design imperfections, and can be made broadband by using more than one absorbing element in the design. Many of these ideas could be translated to other single-mode photonic or plasmonic waveguides interacting with three-level atoms or quantum dots.

Demonstration of a Single-Photon Router in the Microwave Regime.

I.-C. Hoi, C. M. Wilson, G. Johansson, T. Palomaki, B. Peropadre, P. Delsing.
We have embedded an artificial atom, a superconducting transmon qubit, in an open transmission line and investigated the strong scattering of incident microwave photons (∼6 GHz). When an input coherent state, with an average photon number N≪1 is on resonance with the artificial atom, we observe extinction of up to 99.6% in the forward propagating field. We use two-tone spectroscopy to study scattering from excited states and we observe electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). We then use EIT to make a single-photon router, where we can control to what output port an incoming signal is delivered. The maximum on-off ratio is around 99% with a rise and fall time on the order of nanoseconds, consistent with theoretical expectations. The router can easily be extended to have multiple output ports and it can be viewed as a rudimentary quantum node, an important step towards building quantum information networks.

Detecting Ground-State Qubit Self-Excitations in Circuit QED: A Slow Quantum Anti-Zeno Effect.

C. Sabín, J. León, J. J. García-Ripoll.
In this paper, we study an ultrastrong coupled qubit-cavity system subjected to slow repeated measurements. We demonstrate that, even under a few imperfect measurements, it is possible to detect transitions of the qubit from its free ground state to the excited state. The excitation probability grows exponentially fast in analogy with the quantum anti-Zeno effect. The dynamics and physics described in this paper are accessible to current superconducting circuit technology.

Entanglement of Arbitrary Spin Fields in Noninertial Frames.

M. Montero, E. Martín-Martínez.
We generalize the study of fermionic and bosonic entanglement in noninertial frames to fields of arbitrary spin and beyond the single-mode approximation. After the general analysis we particularize for two interesting cases: entanglement between an inertial and an accelerated observer for massless fields of spin 1 (electromagnetic) and spin 3/2 (Rarita-Schwinger). We show that, in the limit of infinite acceleration, no significant differences appear between the different spin fields for the states considered.

Fermi Problem with Artificial Atoms in Circuit QED.

C. Sabín, M. del Rey, J. J. García-Ripoll, and J. León.
We propose a feasible experimental test of a 1D version of the Fermi problem using superconducting qubits. We give an explicit nonperturbative proof of strict causality in this model, showing that the probability of excitation of a two-level artificial atom with a dipolar coupling to a quantum field is completely independent of the other qubit until signals from it may arrive. We explain why this is in perfect agreement with the existence of nonlocal correlations and previous results which were used to claim apparent causality problems for Fermi’s two-atom system.

Fermionic Entanglement Ambiguity in Noninertial Frames.

M. Montero, E. Martín-Martínez.
We analyze an ambiguity in previous works on entanglement of fermionic fields in noninertial frames. This ambiguity, related to the anticommutation properties of field operators, leads to nonunique results when computing entanglement measures for the same state. We show that the ambiguity disappears when we introduce detectors, which are in any case necessary as a means to probe the field entanglement.

Fermionic Entanglement Extinction in Non-Intertial Frames.

M. Montero, J. León, E. Martín-Martínez.
We study families of fermionic field states in noninertial frames which show no entanglement survival in the infinite acceleration limit. We generalize some recent results where some particular examples of such states were found. We analyze the abundance and characteristics of the states showing this behavior and discuss its relation with the statistics of the field. We also consider the phenomenon beyond the single-mode approximation.

Quantum Simulation of Quantum Field Theories in Trapped Ions.

J. Casanova, L. Lamata, I. L. Egusquiza, R. Gerritsma, C. F. Roos, J. J. García-Ripoll, E. Solano.
We propose the quantum simulation of fermion and antifermion field modes interacting via a bosonic field mode, and present a possible implementation with two trapped ions. This quantum platform allows for the scalable add up of bosonic and fermionic modes, and represents an avenue towards quantum simulations of quantum field theories in perturbative and nonperturbative regimes.

Quantum Simulation of the Klein Paradox with Trapped Ions.

R. Gerritsma, B. P. Lanyon, G. Kirchmair, F. Zähringer, C. Hempel, J. Casanova, J. J. García-Ripoll, E. Solano, R. Blatt, C. F. Roos.
We report on quantum simulations of relativistic scattering dynamics using trapped ions. The simulated state of a scattering particle is encoded in both the electronic and vibrational state of an ion, representing the discrete and continuous components of relativistic wave functions. Multiple laser fields and an auxiliary ion simulate the dynamics generated by the Dirac equation in the presence of a scattering potential. Measurement and reconstruction of the particle wave packet enables a frame-by-frame visualization of the scattering processes. By precisely engineering a range of external potentials we are able to simulate text book relativistic scattering experiments and study Klein tunneling in an analogue quantum simulator. We describe extensions to solve problems that are beyond current classical computing capabilities.

Quantum Simulation of the Majorana Equation and Unphysical Operations.

J. Casanova, C. Sabín, J. León, I. L. Egusquiza, R. Gerritsma, C. F. Roos, J. J. García-Ripoll, E. Solano.
A quantum simulator is a device engineered to reproduce the properties of an ideal quantum model. It allows the study of quantum systems that cannot be efficiently simulated on classical computers. While a universal quantum computer is also a quantum simulator, only particular systems have been simulated up to now. Still, there is a wealth of successful cases, such as spin models, quantum chemistry, relativistic quantum physics and quantum phase transitions. Here, we show how to design a quantum simulator for the Majorana equation, a non-Hamiltonian relativistic wave equation that might describe neutrinos and other exotic particles beyond the standard model. Driven by the need of the simulation, we devise a general method for implementing a number of mathematical operations that are unphysical, including charge conjugation, complex conjugation, and time reversal. Furthermore, we describe how to realize the general method in a system of trapped ions. The work opens a new front in quantum simulations.

Redistribution of Particle and Antiparticle Entanglement in Noninertial Frames.

E. Martín-Martínez, Ivette Fuentes.
We analyze the entanglement tradeoff between particle and antiparticle modes of a Dirac field from the perspective of inertial and uniformly accelerated observers. Our results show that a redistribution of entanglement between particle and antiparticle modes plays a key role in the survival of femionic field entanglement in the infinite-acceleration limit.

Relativistic Quantum Mechanics with Trapped Ions.

L. Lamata, J. Casanova, R. Gerritsma, C. F. Roos, J. J. García-Ripoll, E Solano.
We consider the quantum simulation of relativistic quantum mechanics, as described by the Dirac equation and classical potentials, in trapped-ion systems. We concentrate on three problems of growing complexity. Firstly, we study the bidimensional relativistic scattering of single Dirac particles by a linear potential. Secondly, we explore the case of a Dirac particle in a magnetic field and its topological properties. Finally, we analyze the problem of two Dirac particles that are coupled by a controllable and confining potential. The latter interaction may be useful to study important phenomena such as the confinement and asymptotic freedom of quarks.

Residual Entanglement of Accelerated Fermions Is Not Nonlocal.

N. Friis, P. Köhler, E. Martin-Martinez, R. A. Bertlmann.
We analyze the operational meaning of the residual entanglement in noninertial fermionic systems in terms of the achievable violation of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt (CHSH) inequality. We demonstrate that the quantum correlations of fermions, which were previously found to survive in the infinite acceleration limit, cannot be considered to be nonlocal. The entanglement shared by an inertial and an accelerated observer cannot be utilized for the violation of the CHSH inequality in case of high accelerations. Our results are shown to extend beyond the single-mode approximation commonly used in the literature.

Seeing Topological Order in Time-of-Flight Measurements.

E. Alba, X. Fernández-Gonzalvo, J. Mur-Petit, J. K. Pachos, J. J. García-Ripoll.
In this Letter, we provide a general methodology to directly measure topological order in cold atom systems. As an application, we propose the realization of a characteristic topological model, introduced by Haldane, using optical lattices loaded with fermionic atoms in two internal states. We demonstrate that time-of-flight measurements directly reveal the topological order of the system in the form of momentum-space Skyrmions.

The Entangling Side of the Unruh-Hawking Effect.

M. Montero, E. Martín-Martínez.
We show that the Unruh effect can create net quantum entanglement between inertial and accelerated observers depending on the choice of the inertial state. This striking result banishes the extended belief that the Unruh effect can only destroy entanglement and furthermore provides a new and unexpected source for finding experimental evidence of the Unruh and Hawking effects.

Using Berry’s Phase to Detect the Unruh Effect at Lower Accelerations.

E. Martín-Martínez, I. Fuentes, R. B. Mann.
We show that a detector acquires a Berry phase due to its motion in spacetime. The phase is different in the inertial and accelerated case as a direct consequence of the Unruh effect. We exploit this fact to design a novel method to measure the Unruh effect. Surprisingly, the effect is detectable for accelerations 109 times smaller than previous proposals sustained only for times of nanoseconds.