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Quantum information processing and quantum optics with circuit quantum electrodynamics


Since the first observation of coherent quantum behaviour in a superconducting qubit, now more than 20 years ago, there have been substantial developments in the field of superconducting quantum circuits. One such advance is the introduction of the concepts of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED) to superconducting circuits, to yield what is now known as circuit QED. This approach realizes in a single architecture the essential requirements for quantum computation, and has already been used to run simple quantum algorithms and to operate tens of superconducting qubits simultaneously. For these reasons, circuit QED is one of the leading architectures for quantum computation. In parallel to these advances towards quantum information processing, circuit QED offers new opportunities for the exploration of the rich physics of quantum optics in novel parameter regimes in which strongly nonlinear effects are readily visible at the level of individual microwave photons. We review circuit QED in the context of quantum information processing and quantum optics, and discuss some of the challenges on the road towards scalable quantum computation.

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Fig. 1: Realizations of circuit QED.
Fig. 2: Vacuum Rabi splitting.
Fig. 3: Wigner functions W(α) of the microwave fields.
Fig. 4: QEC hardware.
Fig. 5: Quantum hardware.
Fig. 6: Three-dimensional integration of superconducting qubits.


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This work was undertaken thanks in part to funding from NSERC, Canada First Research Excellence Fund and the support from NSF DMR-1609326 and ARO W911NF-18-1-0212 is gratefully acknowledged. W.D.O. acknowledges funding in part by the US Army Research Office grant numbers W911NF-18-1-0411 and MURI W911NF-18-1-0218; the National Science Foundation grant number PHY-1720311; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via MIT Lincoln Laboratory under Air Force contract number FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.

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Correspondence to Alexandre Blais.

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Blais, A., Girvin, S.M. & Oliver, W.D. Quantum information processing and quantum optics with circuit quantum electrodynamics. Nat. Phys. 16, 247–256 (2020).

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