Quantum coherent phenomena in superconducting circuits and ultracold atoms
Lobb, Chris J
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This thesis consists of theoretical studies of superconducting qubits, and trapped bosons and fermions at ultracold temperature. In superconducting qubits I analyze the resonant properties and decoherence behavior of dc SQUID phase qubits, in which one junction acts as a phase qubit and the rest of the device provides isolation from dissipation and noise in the bias lead. Typically qubit states in phase qubits are detected by tunneling it to the voltage state. I propose an alternate non-destructive readout mechanism which relies on the difference in the magnetic flux through the SQUID loop due to state of the qubit. I also study decoherence effects in a dc SQUID phase qubit caused by the isolation circuit. When the frequency of the qubit is at least two times larger than the resonance frequency of the isolation circuit, I find that the decoherence time of the qubit is two orders of magnitude larger than the typical ohmic regime, where the frequency of the qubit is much smaller than the resonance frequency of the isolation circuit. This theory is extended to other similar superconducting quantum devices and has been applied to experiments from the group at the University of Maryland. I also demonstrate, theoretically, vacuum Rabi oscillations, analogous to circuit-QED, in superconducting qubits coupled to an environment with resonance. The result obtained gives an exact analytical expression for coherent oscillation of state between the system (the qubit) and the environment with resonance. Next I investigate ultracold atoms in harmonically confined optical lattices. They exhibit a `wedding cake structure' of alternating Mott shells with different number of bosons per site. In regions between the Mott shells, a superfluid phase emerges at low temperatures which at higher temperatures becomes a normal Bose liquid. Using finite-temperature quantum field theoretic techniques, I find analytically the properties of the superfluid, Bose liquid, and Mott insulating regions. This includes the finite temperature order parameter equation for the superfluid phase, excitation spectrum, Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition temperature and vortex-antivortex pair formation (in the two dimensional case), finite temperature compressibility and density - density correlation function. I also study interacting mixtures of ultracold bosonic and fermionic atoms in harmonically confined optical lattices. For a suitable choice of parameters I find emergence of superfluid and Fermi liquid (non-insulating) regions out of Bose-Mott and Fermi-band insulators, due to finite boson and fermion hopping. I also propose a possible experiment for the detection of superfluid and Fermi liquid shells through the use of Gauss-Laguerre and Gaussian beams followed by Bragg spectroscopy. Another area I explore is ultracold heteronuclear molecules such as KRb, RbCs and NaCs. I obtain the finite and zero-temperature phase diagram of bosons interacting via short range repulsive interactions and long-ranged isotropic dipolar interactions in two-dimensions. I build an analytical model for such systems that describes a first order quantum phase transition at zero temperature from a triangular crystalline phase (analogous to Wigner crystal phase of electrons) to superfluid phase. At finite temperature the crystalline phase melts, due to topological defects, to a hexatic phase where translational order is destroyed but hexagonal orientational order is preserved. Further temperature increase leads to the melting of the hexatic phase into a normal dipolar Bose liquid.