Flux Qubit Completes the Hat Trick

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Science  21 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5614, pp. 1850-1851
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083001

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Superconducting circuits containing Josephson junctions have previously been shown to exist in superpositions of quantum states of electric charge and of superconducting phase. This superposition manifests itself in so-called Rabi oscillations between the two energy levels produced by the superposition. In his Perspective, Clarke highlights the report of Chiorescu et al. , who demonstrate that a superconducting ring containing three Josephson junctions also exhibits Rabi oscillations, and thus exists in a superposition of magnetic flux states. The experiments are elegant demonstrations of quantum coherence in superconducting circuits, and are potentially of interest as "quantum bits" in a future quantum computer.