Nonabsorbing high-efficiency counter for itinerant microwave photons

Bixuan Fan, Göran Johansson, Joshua Combes, G. J. Milburn, Thomas M. Stace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detecting an itinerant microwave photon with high efficiency is an outstanding problem in microwave photonics and its applications. We present a scheme to detect an itinerant microwave photon in a transmission line via the nonlinearity provided by a transmon in a driven microwave resonator. With a single transmon we achieve 84% distinguishability between zero and one microwave photons and 90% distinguishability with two cascaded transmons by performing continuous measurements on the output field of the resonator. We also show how the measurement diminishes coherence in the photon number basis thereby illustrating a fundamental principle of quantum measurement: The decoherence rate increases as the detector is made more effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035132
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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