Time-Resolved Measurement of Dissipation-Induced Decoherence in a Josephson Junction

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1457-1459
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062266

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We determined the dissipation-induced decoherence time (DIDT) of a superconducting Josephson tunnel junction by time-resolved measurements of its escape dynamics. Double-exponential behavior of the time-dependent escape probability was observed, suggesting the occurrence of a two-level decay-tunneling process in which energy relaxation from the excited to the ground level significantly affects the escape dynamics of the system. The observation of temporal double-exponential dependence enables direct measurements of the DIDT, a property critical to the study of quantum dynamics and the realization of macroscopic quantum coherence and quantum computing. We found that the DIDT was τd > 11 μs at T = 0.55 K, demonstrating good prospects for implementing quantum computing with Josephson devices.

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