Quantum wave mixing and visualisation of coherent and superposed photonic states in a waveguide

Alexei Yu Dmitriev, Rais Shaikhaidarov, Vladimir Antonov, Teresa Hönigl-Decrinis, Oleg Astafiev

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Superconducting quantum systems (artificial atoms) have been recently successfully used to demonstrate on-chip effects of quantum optics with single atoms in the microwave range. In particular, a well-known effect of four wave mixing could reveal a series of features beyond classical physics, when a non-linear medium is scaled down to a single quantum scatterer. Here we demonstrate the phenomenon of quantum wave mixing (QWM) on a single superconducting artificial atom. In the QWM, the spectrum of elastically scattered radiation is a direct map of the interacting superposed and coherent photonic states. Moreover, the artificial atom visualises photon-state statistics, distinguishing coherent, one- and two-photon superposed states with the finite (quantised) number of peaks in the quantum regime. Our results may give a new insight into nonlinear quantum effects in microwave optics with artificial atoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1352
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017


  • microwave quantum optics
  • qubit
  • four wave mixing
  • quantum coherence
  • photon states

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