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Suppressing relaxation in superconducting qubits by quasiparticle pumping

Summary

Dynamical error suppression techniques are commonly used to improve coherence in quantum systems. They reduce dephasing errors by applying control pulses designed to reverse erroneous coherent evolution driven by environmental noise. However, such methods cannot correct for irreversible processes such as energy relaxation. We investigate a complementary, stochastic approach to reducting errors: instead of deterministically reversing the unwanted qubit evolution, we use control pulses to shape the noise environment dynamically. in the context of superconducting qubits, we implement a pumping sequence to reduce the number of unpaired electrons (quasiparticles) in close proximity to the device. A 70% reduction in the quasiparticle density reesults in a threefold enhancement in qubit relaxation times and a comparable reduction in coherence variablity.
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Summary

Dynamical error suppression techniques are commonly used to improve coherence in quantum systems. They reduce dephasing errors by applying control pulses designed to reverse erroneous coherent evolution driven by environmental noise. However, such methods cannot correct for irreversible processes such as energy relaxation. We investigate a complementary, stochastic approach to...

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Bootstrapping and maintaining trust in the cloud

Published in:
32nd Annual Computer Security Applications Conf., ACSAC 2016, 5-9 December 2016.

Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware like the TPM have long promised a solution to this problem. However, these technologies have not seen broad adoption because of their complexity of implementation, low performance, and lack of compatibility with virtualized environments. In this paper we introduce keylime, a scalable trusted cloud key management system. keylime provides an end-to-end solution for both bootstrapping hardware rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS nodes and for system integrity monitoring of those nodes via periodic attestation. We support these functions in both bare-metal and virtualized IaaS environments using a virtual TPM. keylime provides a clean interface that allows higher level security services like disk encryption or configuration management to leverage trusted computing without being trusted computing aware. We show that our bootstrapping protocol can derive a key in less than two seconds, we can detect system integrity violations in as little as 110ms, and that keylime can scale to thousands of IaaS cloud nodes.
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Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware...

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The role of master clock stability in quantum information processing

Published in:
npj Quantum Inf., Vol. 2, 8 November 2016, doi:10.1038/npjqi.2016.33.

Summary

Experimentalists seeking to improve the coherent lifetimes of quantum bits have generally focused on mitigating decoherence mechanisms through, for example, improvements to qubit designs and materials, and system isolation from environmental perturbations. In the case of the phase degree of freedom in a quantum superposition, however, the coherence that must be preserved is not solely internal to the qubit, but rather necessarily includes that of the qubit relative to the 'master clock' (e.g., a local oscillator) that governs its control system. In this manuscript, we articulate the impact of instabilities in the master clock on qubit phase coherence and provide tools to calculate the contributions to qubit error arising from these processes. We first connect standard oscillator phase-noise metrics to their corresponding qubit dephasing spectral densities. We then use representative lab-grade and performance-grade oscillator specifications to calculate operational fidelity bounds on trapped-ion and superconducting qubits with relatively slow and fast operation times. We discuss the relevance of these bounds for quantum error correction in contemporary experiments and future large-scale quantum information systems, and consider potential means to improve master clock stability.
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Summary

Experimentalists seeking to improve the coherent lifetimes of quantum bits have generally focused on mitigating decoherence mechanisms through, for example, improvements to qubit designs and materials, and system isolation from environmental perturbations. In the case of the phase degree of freedom in a quantum superposition, however, the coherence that must...

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The flux qubit revisited to enhance coherence and reproducibility

Summary

The scalable application of quantum information science will stand on reproducible and controllable high-coherence quantum bits (qubits). In this work, we revisit the design and fabrication of the superconducting flux qubit, achieving a planar device with broad frequency tunability, strong anharmonicity, high reproducibility, and relaxation times in excess of 40 us at its flux-insensitive point. Qubit relaxation times 1 T across 22 qubits of widely varying designs are consistently matched with a single model involving resonator loss, ohmic charge noise, and 1/f flux noise, a noise source previously considered primarily in the context of dephasing, with temporal variation in 1 T attributed to quasiparticles. We furthermore demonstrate that qubit dephasing at the flux-insensitive point is dominated by residual thermal photons in the readout resonator. The resulting photon shot noise is mitigated using a dynamical decoupling protocol, resulting in T2 ~ 85 us , approximately the 1 2T limit. In addition to realizing a dramatically improved flux qubit, our results uniquely identify photon shot noise as limiting 2 T in contemporary state-of-art qubits based on transverse qubit-resonator interaction.
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Summary

The scalable application of quantum information science will stand on reproducible and controllable high-coherence quantum bits (qubits). In this work, we revisit the design and fabrication of the superconducting flux qubit, achieving a planar device with broad frequency tunability, strong anharmonicity, high reproducibility, and relaxation times in excess of 40...

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Reduction of trapped-ion anomalous heating by in situ surface plasma cleaning

Published in:
Phys. Rev. A, At. Mol. Opt. Phys., Vol. 92, No. 2, 2015, 020302.

Summary

Anomalous motional heating is a major obstacle to scalable quantum information processing with trapped ions. Although the source of this heating is not yet understood, several previous studies suggest that noise due to surface contaminants is the limiting heating mechanism in some instances. We demonstrate an improvement by a factor of 4 in the room-temperature heating rate of a niobium surface electrode trap by in situ plasma cleaning of the trap surface. This surface treatment was performed with a simple homebuilt coil assembly and commercially available matching network and is considerably gentler than other treatments, such as ion milling or laser cleaning, that have previously been shown to improve ion heating rates. We do not see an improvement in the heating rate when the trap is operated at cryogenic temperatures, pointing to a role of thermally activated surface contaminants in motional heating whose activity may freeze out at low temperatures.
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Summary

Anomalous motional heating is a major obstacle to scalable quantum information processing with trapped ions. Although the source of this heating is not yet understood, several previous studies suggest that noise due to surface contaminants is the limiting heating mechanism in some instances. We demonstrate an improvement by a factor...

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Thermal and residual excited-state population in a 3D transmon qubit

Summary

Remarkable advancements in coherence and control fidelity have been achieved in recent years with cryogenic solid-state qubits. Nonetheless, thermalizing such devices to their milliKelvin environments has remained a long-standing fundamental and technical challenge. In this context, we present a systematic study of the first-excited-state population in a 3D transmon superconducting qubit mounted in a dilution refrigerator with a variable temperature. Using a modified version of the protocol developed by Geerlings et al., we observe the excited-state population to be consistent with a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, i.e., a qubit in thermal equilibrium with the refrigerator, over the temperature range 35-150 mK. Below 35 mK, the excited-state population saturates at approximately 0.1%. We verified this result using a flux qubit with ten times stronger coupling to its readout resonator. We conclude that these qubits have effective temperature Teff ơ 35 mK. Assuming Teff is due solely to hot quasiparticles, the inferred qubit lifetime is 108 microns and in plausible agreement with the measured 80 microns.
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Summary

Remarkable advancements in coherence and control fidelity have been achieved in recent years with cryogenic solid-state qubits. Nonetheless, thermalizing such devices to their milliKelvin environments has remained a long-standing fundamental and technical challenge. In this context, we present a systematic study of the first-excited-state population in a 3D transmon superconducting...

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Measurement of ion motional heating rates over a range of trap frequencies and temperatures

Published in:
Phys. Rev. A, At. Mol. Opt. Phys., Vol. 91, No. 4, April 2015, 041402.

Summary

We present measurements of the motional heating rate of a trapped ion at different trap frequencies and temperatures between ~0.6 and 1.5 MHz and ~4 and 295 K. Additionally, we examine the possible effect of adsorbed surface contaminants with boiling points below ~105 degrees C by measuring the ion heating rate before and after locally baking our ion trap chip under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. We compare the heating rates presented here to those calculated from available electric-field noise models. We can tightly constrain a subset of these models based on their expected frequency and temperature scaling interdependence. Discrepancies between the measured results and predicted values point to the need for refinement of theoretical noise models in order to more fully understand the mechanisms behind motional trapped-ion heating.
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Summary

We present measurements of the motional heating rate of a trapped ion at different trap frequencies and temperatures between ~0.6 and 1.5 MHz and ~4 and 295 K. Additionally, we examine the possible effect of adsorbed surface contaminants with boiling points below ~105 degrees C by measuring the ion heating...

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Increasing the coherence time in a magnetically-sensitive stimulated Raman transition in 85Rb

Published in:
FIO 2014: Frontiers in Optics, 14 October 2014.

Summary

We experimentally study the Ramsey, spin echo, and CPMG pulse sequences of a magnetically sensitive transition of a cold 85Rb gas. We can increase the coherence time by up to a factor of 10 by using CPMG pulse sequences as compared to Ramsey or spin echo.
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Summary

We experimentally study the Ramsey, spin echo, and CPMG pulse sequences of a magnetically sensitive transition of a cold 85Rb gas. We can increase the coherence time by up to a factor of 10 by using CPMG pulse sequences as compared to Ramsey or spin echo.

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Quantum information processing using quasiclassical electromagnetic interactions between qubits and electrical resonators

Published in:
New J. Phys., Vol. 15, 2013, 123011.
Topic:
R&D group:

Summary

Electrical resonators are widely used in quantum information processing, by engineering an electromagnetic interaction with qubits based on real or virtual exchange of microwave photons. This interaction relies on strong coupling between the qubits' transition dipole moments and the vacuum fluctuations of the resonator in the same manner as cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED), and has consequently come to be called 'circuit QED' (cQED). Great strides in the control of quantum information have already been made experimentally using this idea. However, the central role played by photon exchange induced by quantum fluctuations in cQED does result in some characteristic limitations. In this paper, we discuss an alternative method for coupling qubits electromagnetically via a resonator, in which no photons are exchanged, and where the resonator need not have strong quantum fluctuations. Instead, the interaction can be viewed in terms of classical, effective 'forces' exerted by the qubits on the resonator, and the resulting resonator dynamics used to produce qubit entanglement are purely classical nature. We show how this type of interaction is similar to that encountered in the manipulation of atomic ion qubits, and we exploit this analogy to construct two-qubit entangling operations that are largely insensitive to thermal or other noise in the resonator, and to its quality factor. These operations are also extensisble to larger numbers of qubits, allowing interactions to be selectively generated among any desired subset of those coupled to a single resonator. Our proposal is potentially applicable to a variety of physical qubit modalities, including superconducting and semiconducting solid-state qubits, trapped molecular ions, and possibly even electron spins in solids.
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Summary

Electrical resonators are widely used in quantum information processing, by engineering an electromagnetic interaction with qubits based on real or virtual exchange of microwave photons. This interaction relies on strong coupling between the qubits' transition dipole moments and the vacuum fluctuations of the resonator in the same manner as cavity...

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An applications architecture to support FAA wake turbulence mitigation systems development and deployment

Published in:
Project Report ATC-412, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Summary

The Wake Turbulence Program within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a number of new procedures for safely reducing the wake vortex spacing requirements between aircraft. One category of procedures investigates wind-dependent procedures, i.e., procedures that can be applied when wind conditions are expected to transport the wake from a lead aircraft away from the path of a trailing aircraft. MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed a Wind Forecast Algorithm (WFA) to determine when conditions allow these wind-dependent procedures to be available to traffic managers. The baseline WFA is used within the Wake Turbulence Mitigation for Departures (WTMD) system, which establishes spacing procedures for departures on closely spaced parallel runways. A number of new procedures are also under consideration, each of which will require a modification and/or expansion of the baseline WFA. With time, the volume and number of disparate data sources used in the development process has steadily increased to the point where the existing development environment has become cumbersome and inadequate. As a result, through support of the FAA Wake Turbulence Program, MIT Lincoln Laboratory has undergone a complete overhaul of the computer processing and storage architecture used for WFA development. This will serve two main purposes. First, it will greatly expedite the development process, which is highly iterative and requires increasingly large volumes of data. Second, an updated architecture design will allow for an expeditious transition of developmental systems into the operational environment within FAA's NextGen framework. A key focus of this report describes how the new design is sufficiently compatible and flexible to serve within this anticipated FAA framework. The unified application architecture and infrastructure being designed and implemented will support continuing development, playback requirements, and real-time deployments. This architecture is composed of several application components including a wind data extract-transform-loaf (ETL) application, the WFA algorithm, and a display interface to accommodate both the development process and for potential use within the FAA operational environment. The Wind-ETL application component acquires, processes, and archives wind data from a variety of NOAA-based hourly forecasts and airport-vicinity weather measurement equipment. This wind data is ingested by the WFA, which computes and disseminates its availability predictions to the WTMx Display application component, which archives these predictions and also allows for presentation to the airport tower supervisor via the WTMx display user interface decision support tool. This architecture is designed to be flexible to accepting new weather data feeds, scalable to the high bandwidth and processing and storage capabilities required, provide sufficient automation and self-healing capabilities, and portable to allow its introduction into alternate facility sites and its integration into other FAA software systems.
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Summary

The Wake Turbulence Program within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a number of new procedures for safely reducing the wake vortex spacing requirements between aircraft. One category of procedures investigates wind-dependent procedures, i.e., procedures that can be applied when wind conditions are expected to transport the wake from...

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