Nicolas will defend his thesis entitled "The Josephson effect in superconductors and quantum gases" the 24th of November 2009 at 2 p.m., in the Maison des Magistères, Room Amphi Mag.
With the recent technical breakthroughs, physicists fully play with the beauty of quantum mechanics. In this theoretical work on the mesoscopic Josephson effect, we take advantage of the collaborations with experimentalists as well as the exchanges between the cold atoms and condensed matter communities. We consider various systems based on the Josephson junction, beginning with its quantum description in the underdamped regime. Using the Keldysh formalism, we obtain the current-voltage characteristics from the classical to the zero temperature regime and the quantum Smoluchowski equation in the quasi-classical limit. We then study the quantum dynamics of a phase qubit realized with a SQUID in a novel configuration where tunneling events occur through two quartic barriers. The escape rate in this camel-back potential, calculated with the instantons technique, allows us to describe the experiments. Circuit quantum electrodynamics predicts that a lasing effect appears when a qubit is coupled to a resonant cavity. We consider the case of a charge qubit and also that of a transmon which exploits the Purcell effect. With the Lindbladian we obtain the density matrix from which we derive the spectrum of the output field. Finally, we study a gas of cold atoms in a ring shape trap comprising a barrier, thus creating a Bose Josephson junction. The low energy physics is described through the correlation functions with the Luttinger liquid theory. We show that the quantum fluctuations in the ring induce a renormalization of the Josephson energy.
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